Publix will raise wages for its hourly employees and some managers, a move that could help it compete with chains such as Target and Walmart that have made public announcements of pay increases.
The Lakeland-based supermarket chain also boosted its stock price by nearly 13 percent to $41.40 ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings announcement scheduled for Thursday.
Publix would not disclose how much the raises will be or what current wage ranges are, saying it’s proprietary information.
“We want to continue to invest in our most valuable asset — our associates,” said Dwaine Stevens, a company spokesman in an email. “So with this investment, we will increase the retail pay range for non-management positions as well as assistant department managers and department manager positions.”
Publix has about 188,000 workers at 1,172 stores nationwide, acording to its website. Only employees and board members are eligible to buy stock, which is privately traded. The price of the stock is adjusted quarterly and set by auditors who base it on the financial performance of Publix, compared with how other supermarket and food companies are trading on Wall Street.
It’s the highest that Publix stock price has been since October 2016 and reverses a downward trend since the price of the company’s shares peaked in March 2016 at $45.20.