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Home Depot makes temporary COVID pay programs for staff permanent

Move expected to cost $1 billion U.S. per year


Home Depot has seen sales soar during the pandemic as people stayed home and invested in their properties.

Now, it’s investing some of that windfall into its employees — announcing that temporary COVID enhancements to pay will become permanent in a move expected to cost $1 billion U.S.

Strong sales during COVID

The retail chain made the announcement as it unveiled its third quarter results for fiscal 2020, reporting a 23.2 per cent increase in sales to $33.5 billion US.

That’s up $6.3 billion from 2019. Net earning rose to $3.4 billion, compared to $2.8 billion for the same quarter in 2019.

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“The third quarter was another exceptional quarter for The Home Depot as we saw the continuation of outsized demand for home improvement projects, which has led to sales growth of more than $15 billion through the first nine months of the year,” says Craig Menear, chairman and CEO.

“Our ability to effectively adapt to this high-demand environment is a testament to both the investments we have made in the business as well as our associates’ focus on customers. We continue to lean into these investments because we believe they are critical in enabling market share growth in any economic environment. I am proud of the resilience and strength our associates have continued to demonstrate, and I would like to thank them and our supplier partners.”

Investment in employees

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Home Depot has taken significant actions to support associates, including expanded paid time off for all hourly associates to use at their discretion and the implementation of a temporary weekly bonus program.

The company is now transitioning from these temporary programs to invest in permanent compensation enhancements for frontline, hourly associates. This will result in approximately $1 billion U.S. of incremental compensation on an annualized basis.

At the end of the third quarter, the company operated a total of 2,295 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.

It employs more than 400,000 associates.