Money Minute: Walmart Weighs Raising Wages; DIY Retailers' Hiring Spree


Two of the nation's largest retailers weigh-in on paying their workers a higher minimum wage.

Walmart Stores (WMT) is reportedly evaluating the added cost of a higher minimum wage against the potential revenue it would gain from having millions of low-wage workers with more money to spend, according to Bloomberg News. Many companies that pay their workers near the minimum wage worry that President Obama's proposal to boost the rate to $10.10 an hour would hurt profits.

Retailer Gap (GPS) isn't worried. The company says it will increase the minimum wage for its workers to $9 an hour this year, and $10 an hour next year. The company expects to gain a competitive advantage in attracting the best employees.

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) will hire 25,000 workers to handle the seasonal rush of business this spring. But that number sounds better than it really is. That's because Lowe's hired 45,000 people last spring. Rival Home Depot (HD) recently said it's bringing on 80,000 seasonal workers, about the same as it did a year ago.

The world's largest social networking firm is buying one of the biggest messaging services.
Facebook (FB) is spending a cool $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp, an Internet-based text messaging service that allows users to bypass wireless carriers and text for free. Fast-growing WhatsApp claims that 70 percent of its 450 million subscribers use the service every day.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 90 points Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 12 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 35, snapping its 8 session winning streak.

One stock to watch today is Safeway (SWY). The supermarket chain says it's considering a possible sale of the company. It has held talks about a deal, but didn't identify the potential bidders. In addition to its namesake stores, California-based Safeway also operates Vons and Randalls stores.

The Sbarro restaurant chain is going on a diet. Less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy, the company plans to close 155 of its nearly 1,000 restaurants.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Listen you left wing pinheads. Raising the minimum wage will just make the COST of products more and lower hiring. I OWN a businesss with 110 employees and most make $10 an hour already or better. If you raise mimimum wage to $10 then they will ALL want raises. Guess what? I have to raise costs so I have to raise prices, its called economics. ANd unlike your bologna global warming , thats a fact !

February 20 2014 at 4:08 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam's comment

Guess what you wrong wingnut blowhard. If your business requires other people to be paid so little that they have to go on welfare to survive then your "business" is bullshit and does not deserve to survive. I should not have to be paying for the welfare to allow people to survive when businesses are too cheesy and cheap to pay a living wage. And unlike your wrong wingnut nonsense that lead to financial collapse and bailouts in 2008 that is a fact!

February 20 2014 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We now have a country of haves and have nots. Not much left in the middle. The haves can afford representation to protect what they have, and....also protection from the have nots, in order to have more. The have nots are expected to serve and service the haves and to shut up and be thankful they have an income, no matter how low it may be. Otherwise....they can go live in the streets.....just not the streets of any haves town. They don't want to have to look at the have nots. Wealth has loyalty only to more wealth. Should the economic roof cave in on America and the country is no longer suitable to gain personal and corporate wealth, the exodus from this country to places where wealth will be protected and will grow, by those with the means, will be stunning......and the absence of their wealth, when they trade flags, will complete the total collapse of our house of cards. Then the wealthy will devise ways to pick the carcass clean.....for a profit. What do you think happened to all those yuppies that used to say, "He who dies with them most toys wins.".....? They are now the people who say, "Hurrah for me, I got mine." Is all this unthinkable to you? It's not to the haves.

February 20 2014 at 4:08 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Heck all these companies wanting to raise the wage is crazy..if this BHO Administration would allow the private sector do their thing, these people wold not have to be under-employed and bellyache for higher pay...I know as well as a crippled cow that $7.25 is not enough to pay for anything..but that is not what it is designed to do...BHO Tear down that GAP!!

February 20 2014 at 3:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer Gennaro check it out, it will change the way you think of running a business!!!

February 20 2014 at 3:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

4 bad quarters in a row for walmart can only mean good things for America. let the bottom feeders starve for a change.

February 20 2014 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I am trying to say is: There is no reason for us to have "Upstairs" and "Downstairs" attitudes. A company can be as good as its entire workforce: vice versa--it can be as bad as its entire workforce. Good Apples and Bad Apples will always be there in any level

February 20 2014 at 2:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I say work hard and demand better pay --- I cannot tolerate freebie loaders if they are CEOs are bottom level employees. Earn your pay, earn respect, pride and self esteem and that will make you and your children proud.

February 20 2014 at 2:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I want to propose the "Variable Pay" concept. If company makes money then everybody gets pay raise. But if company lose money then everybody will take a pay cut.!!!!????

February 20 2014 at 2:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Why don't these CEOs, and Top Executives take approvals for wage structure, bonuses and pay hikes from employees and shareholders in annual meetings?

February 20 2014 at 2:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It is stunning !! None of you raised any question or protested when our members of congress voted themselves hefty pay raises year after year? You followed them and worshipped them like blind sheep.

I said it before --- when minimum wage was increased from $2.10 to $2.40, all the blind sheep were singing same song---"It will ruin economy and kill jobs"

The same blind sheep never raised any doubt when corporate top heavy executives writing their bonus plans, their own retirement packages, and golden parachutes?

Your unconscious living is unforgivable.

February 20 2014 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply