• Online furniture retailer Wayfair boosted its minimum wage to $15 per hour, a move that will benefit 40% of its employees.
  • Wayfair shares rose more than 2% Wednesday, adding to their 7% rally so far in 2021.
  • The company’s stock has skyrocketed over the past year, as the pandemic prompted people hunkered down at home to turn to home improvement projects. 
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Wayfair Inc. boosted its minimum wage for all U.S. employees to at least $15 per hour, a move that will benefit more than 40% of its employees.

The online furniture retailer’s stock has skyrocketed over the past year, as stay-home orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus prompted people to turn to home improvement projects to fill their time. 

The pay increase will apply to the company’s full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, the company said Thursday in a statement. Wayfair shares rose more than 2% Thursday, boosting the company’s year-to-date rally to 7.1%, according to data from Morningstar.

The Boston-based company posted solid results during the third quarter, and its stock rallied more than 150% last year as people hunkered down at home during the pandemic and turned to online shopping and home improvement projects. Shares of Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Williams-Sonoma also rallied last year. 

In November, Wayfair shares fell on news of the Covid-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte upgraded the shares to buy from neutral, saying the stock would have sustainable benefits in the future. He said the company now has a “proven ability to generate profitable sales growth,” and it will exit the pandemic “with gross margins that are sustainably higher than they were pre-pandemic.”

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During the pandemic, Wayfair rolled out employee bonuses and a dinner-to-go program for families. “As we enter 2021, we are continuing to build upon our steadfast commitment to our team and their families by increasing minimum pay for all hourly employees,” chief executive officer and co-chairman Niraj Shah said. 

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.