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Walmart to pay special cash bonuses, hire 150,000 workers in response to coronavirus demand

A customer pays for her groceries after shopping at a Walmart store ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago.

Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

Walmart said Thursday that it would spend $365 million to pay cash bonuses to its hourly employees for working during the coronavirus pandemic as customers flock to its stores to stock up on items. 

The bonuses will be $300 for full-time hourly associates and $150 for part-time hourly associates. Every hourly associate employed by the company as of March 1 will qualify, and the bonuses will pay out on April 2.

The  company will also pay store, club and supply chain associates $180 million for their next scheduled bonuses a month early. 

Walmart is the largest grocer in the U.S. and has seen a boost in sales as people buy food, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other items as they prepare to stay at home amid rising cases of the coronavirus. 

Walmart said it is also hiring 150,000 new associates through the end of May to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers in response to growing demand due to the epidemic. The jobs will be temporary, but many will become permanent over time. 

Earlier this week, Amazon said it would hire an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. to meet the surge in demand from online shopping amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

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