* 155 stores
* $2.8 billion with local suppliers, supporting 42,831 supplier job
* Collected $724.3 million in sales taxes for state and local governments
* $88.7 million in taxes paid by Wal-Mart
Sources: Wal-Mart, Dunn & Bradstreet
Wal-Mart today announced that more than 850,000 Wal-Mart associates in the U.S. – including 3,021 in the Chattanooga area – will share in more than $157 million in cash bonuses based on their stores' performance in the fourth quarter.
The bonuses, along with an annual pay raise, were included in their March 9 paychecks. The average quarterly bonus for Chattanooga Wal-Mart employees was $211.52, although bonuses vary widely depending upon jobs and pay levels.
Wal-Mart associates can earn a bonus every quarter based on the performance of their store. Associates in the greater Chattanooga area – including Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Rhea and Sequatchie counties – will share more than $639,000 in fourth quarter bonuses. Across Tennessee, Wal-Mart is awarding more than $5 million in bonuses to over 26,000 associates.
The bonuses reflect Wal-Mart's strongest comp sales performance of the year in the fourth quarter at 1.8 percent. Customer service and inventory management have also improved.
For the full fiscal year, Wal-Mart employees shared more than $700 million in bonuses.
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employ about 2.2 million people worldwide and is the largest private employer in the United States.
"We're proud to be leaders in the new world of retail," Sean Riley, Wal-Mart regional general manager, said in a statement today. "No other retailer offers as wide a range of jobs, training opportunities, room for advancement, benefits and the opportunity for financial advancement as Wal-Mart. We have invested in wages and training to create a system that can help our associates go as far as they want to go."
During 2016, Wal-Mart launched new training programs for entry-level associates, front-line supervisors, department managers and assistant managers, creating clearer career paths and preparing them to succeed in a new, technology-enabled age of retail.
In fiscal 2017, Wal-Mart said it promoted more than 200,000 associates, including 5,931 in Tennessee, to jobs with higher pay. More than 150,000 associates, including 4,110 in Tennessee were converted from part-time to full-time.
More than 75 percent of current store management teams started as hourly workers.
Last year, Wal-Mart opened 40 Training Academies — physical facilities that serve as learning hubs for hourly supervisors, department managers and assistant managers from approximately 25 area stores. In Chattanooga, Wal-Mart's 2,600-square-foot employee training academy at the Ooltewah Wal-Mart super store.