Lowe’s is giving $55 million in bonuses to hourly workers because of high inflation

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Lowe’s store employees will soon see bonuses in their paychecks.

The Mooresville-based home improvement retailer is giving $55 million in bonuses to its hourly workers in stores, during this time of high inflation, Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said Wednesday during the second quarter earnings report. Supply chain and contact center workers also will receive the bonus.

“These associates have the most important jobs in our company and we deeply appreciate everything they do to serve our customers,” Ellison said.

Employees will see the bonus Sept. 9, Ellison said during a roundtable discussion with Charlotte reporters following the earnings call.

The incremental bonus depends on whether the employee is full time or part time, and other factors, Ellison said.

In addition to the bonus, all eligible hourly U.S. workers will receive a quarterly profit-sharing bonus that varies based on their position.

Lowe’s has 1,969 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada, and employs about 300,000 people. The company has more than 12,000 employees in the Charlotte area, including about 7,000 corporate workers, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

Lowe’s gave seven similar pandemic-related employee bonuses in 2020 and 2021. The last $80 million round in February 2021 provided $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time and seasonal workers.

Lowe’s workers’ flexible schedules

Lowe’s also has recently begun offering more scheduling options for full-time workers. That includes a fixed four-day work week, fixed days off or the option to choose preferred shifts, said Joe McFarland, executive vice president of Lowe’s stores.

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This helps employees improve work-life balance and enables Lowe’s to stand out from other retailers, he said.

For a limited time, workers also are receiving an additional discount, for a total of 20% off, on every household and cleaning items, “which we hope will ease the burden of inflation,” McFarland said.

Ellison said he hopes the scheduling will help to recruit and retain employees.

“One of the main reasons we felt like the four-day work week was important to do is that it’s just one less day of putting gas in your car for your commute to work,” Ellison said, “especially with these gas prices.”

Charlotte tech hub, pro fulfillment center update

As of Wednesday, more than 1,000 employees are working from Lowe’s new tech hub center in South End, Ellison said.

“It’s just been a long time coming and the pandemic slowed it down. But we still think this is going to be great for the South End of Charlotte,” Ellison said, “We think it’s going to be an opportunity for us to continue to expand technology jobs in this city.”

The center for Lowe’s growing technology workforce was initially expected to open by the end of last year. Lowe’s occupies the 15 upper floors of the 23-story Design Center Tower at 100 W. Worthington Ave.

A ribbon-cutting will be held in October, Lowe’s spokesman Steve Salazar said Wednesday, which is ahead of the company’s two-day “Into the Blue: Lowe’s Product Pitch Event.” The event gives entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes a chance to pitch their products to be sold at the home improvement chain. The application deadline was last Friday.

In the spring, Lowe’s opened its 200,000-square-foot fulfillment center at 7800 Tuckaseegee Road dedicated to professional customer delivery services.

Ellison said the pilot program is exceeding expectations”with “extremely high” pro customer service scores and that the number of products selling is more than anticipated.

During a December analyst conference in New York, Ellison said he expects to provide an update on the supply chain transformation and more details about the fulfillment strategy.

Lowe’s earnings report

The company reported net income was in line with prior-year results at $3 billion during Wednesday’s second-quarter earnings report.

Total sales for the second quarter were $27.5 billion compared to $27.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021, and comparable sales decreased 0.3%.

Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 0.2% for the second quarter.

Do-it-yourself sales were impacted by the shortened spring and lower demand but sales were partially offset by a 13% increase in pro customer sales, according to Lowe’s.

This is a developing story