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Under Armour to raise minimum hourly pay to $15

An Under Armour sign outside of a store at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, Kentucky, on April 20, 2015. (Bloomberg/ Luke Sharrett)

The pay increase will affect 8,000 part-time and full-time employees, Under Armour says. (Bloomberg/ Luke Sharrett)

Under Armour is raising the minimum pay rate for hourly employees in the United States and Canada by 50%, a move that will affect 8,000 part-time and full-time retail and distribution workers, the company said Wednesday.

Hourly rates will increase from a minimum of $10 per hour to $15 per hour ($15.25 Canadian dollars per hour in Canada), which will go into effect on June 6, the company said in its announcement.

About 90% of the Baltimore-based company’s retail and distribution house workforce will see a compensation increase.

Under Armour said the pay rate increase is the beginning of several steps to enhance employees’ experience. Over the coming year, the company will implement additional initiatives dealing with compensation, learning and development, and a new incentive plan for hourly workers.

“Our retail and distribution house teammates are the backbone of our business and play an essential role in our ability to serve our focused performers,” said Patrik Frisk, president and CEO of Under Armour. “We are committed to doing the right thing, and at the center of our commitment is ensuring our teammates feel valued and appreciated.”

Under Armour has more than 3,000 open roles in retail locations and distribution houses, some of which are seasonal and include sales employees, store managers and stock workers. All of these jobs will start at a minimum of $15 per hour in June.

“At Under Armour, direct-to-consumer is one of our biggest growth opportunities and an area that I am proud to oversee,” said Stephanie Pugliese, President of the Americas at Under Armour. “Teammates in our retail stores and distribution houses are our strongest asset and we needed to make a strategic decision on our hourly wages to be a competitive employer in the retail space.

Major retail companies in the U.S. have moved to increase hourly pay. Many employers have said they are struggling to attract workers as the nation emerges from an economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart in February said it would raise its average hourly wage to more than $15 per hour, a $1 increase. Amazon and Target have already increased hourly wages to $15 for all workers.

Under Armour, like many retailers, also has had to rebuild its workforce after idling or shedding many employees during the worst of the pandemic’s early days. The company in March 2020 closed all 188 of its stores in North America for several weeks.