(Reuters) – Walmart (NYSE:) Inc is testing a higher starting wage for certain newly created jobs in about 500 U.S. stores, as it looks to improve in-store experience for customers amid intense competition.
The company would offer team associates, a role it recently created, a starting wage of $12 an hour, Walmart spokeswoman Jami Lamontagne said.
That compares with Walmart’s minimum wage of $11 at its more than 5,000 stores across the United States.
The team associates would be cross-trained in several functions and will have more responsibility, Lamontagne said.
The big-box retailer last raised its entry-level wages for U.S. hourly employees to $11 in early 2018 and trails rivals, including Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:), Amazon (NASDAQ:) Inc and Target Corp (NYSE:) on the minimum wage front.
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