VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Family Express Corp. has boosted its starting wage thanks to the tax reform bill Congress approved in December. The retailer’s entry-level associates will now earn $11 an hour.
Family Express follows Starbucks, Walmart, Home Depot, Apple and about 25 other major companies that have promised a piece of their tax savings to workers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate tax rate by nearly 15%.
The convenience-store chain’s decision to increase wages by $1 per hour is not the first pay boost by the company. In 2015, Family Express began providing above-market compensation ahead of other retailers, such as Walmart.
With 70 locations in northwest and central Indiana, passing the tax savings on to staff helps the company compete with other local employers, according to president and CEO Gus Olympidis.
“Our employees are the ones that exemplify the unique brand promise that we extend to our valued customers day after day,” Olympidis said. “This higher starting wage, in combination with our robust benefits package, highlights our ongoing commitment to maintain our position as an employer of choice in the communities that we serve.”
Industry-leading wages and top-tier benefits are crucial because of the retailer’s selective recruiting process. About one in 50 candidates earn a Family Express job offer, said Alex Olympidis, the company's president of operations, during CSP’s Outlook Leadership conference in November. Family Express store managers start at $50,000, which is more than firemen, teachers and police officers in some Indiana communities, he said.
Other benefits include 401(k) matching, access to a fitness center with a personal trainer, and stable scheduling.