Walgreens Boots Alliance will boost the starting wage for its U.S. employees to $15 an hour, becoming the latest retailer to sweeten compensation amid a hiring crunch.
The company will start gradually increasing pay in October and expects to fully implement the new rate by November 2022. The Deerfield, Illinois-based company operates about 9,000 drugstores across the U.S.
Rewarding employees is “highly important to retaining and attracting a talented workforce, and to continuing to serve our critical role in community health care,” Walgreens Chief Executive Officer Rosalind Brewer said in a statement.
Walgreens follows U.S. retailers such as Target, Best Buy and Amazon.com, which have increased wages in recent years in order to stand out in a competitive job market. Walgreens’ main competitor, CVS Health Corp., earlier this summer announced it would bump starting pay to $15 an hour by July 2022.
The wage increase will cost Walgreens about $450 million over the next three years. Walgreens expects to partially absorb the expense through the normal course of business.