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Wick store staff get pandemic payout bonus


By David G Scott

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Workers at B&M's bargain retail store in Wick will benefit from a payout being made to staff as a thank you for their efforts over the pandemic.

The company enjoyed a sharp increase in sales over the 13 weeks leading up to Boxing Day and 30,000 employees will be given a week's worth of extra pay as "a thank you" gesture, it was announced yesterday.

B&M store in Wick.Picture: DGS
B&M store in Wick.Picture: DGS

Simon Arora, the company's chief executive, said: “Our trading performance is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our colleagues, to whom I express my sincere thanks.

"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues has remained our priority during these unprecedented times, whilst we have worked hard to provide customers with the everyday essentials they need. We are awarding some 30,000 store and distribution colleagues an extra week’s wages in recognition of their considerable efforts."

A new dividend of 20p-a-share would also be handed out to shareholders after sales jumped by 22.5 per cent to £1.4 billion in the 13 weeks to December 26. Mr Arora and his family are the biggest shareholders in the business, meaning he will pay himself £30 million, in addition to a £44 million dividend payout two months ago.

B&M workers in this store at Wick's Retail Park can expect an extra week's wages at the end of this month. Picture: DGS
B&M workers in this store at Wick's Retail Park can expect an extra week's wages at the end of this month. Picture: DGS

Looking to the future, Mr Arora added: "Notwithstanding our status as an essential retailer, with lockdown restrictions in the UK having tightened there remain uncertainties ahead. With our combination of exceptional value and convenient Out of Town locations, we are confident that our business model will prove highly relevant to the needs of customers in 2021.”

The business, which has 673 stores in the UK, made the announcement in a trading update yesterday (Thursday, January 7).

The B&M bonus applies to all store and distribution staff below the level of deputy manager, employed by the company since the first lockdown on March 23 last year. Around 30,000 UK staff are promised the bonus in their January payslips.

The store remains open, being classed as an essential business.

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