IKEA's minimum wage sparks debate over state minimum - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

IKEA's minimum wage sparks debate over state minimum

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

When IKEA opens in Memphis next year, Mid-Southerners could expect to make a minimum salary of $15 per hour.

That is because IKEA has its own minimum wage, much higher than the federal minimum.

On Wednesday, crews were at work in the Wolfchase mall area building the new IKEA furniture store that will open late next year.

“I'm pretty excited about it,” said business manager Dave Patel. “It's going to help all the local businesses around here.”

A year after making a minimum wage hike in its US stores, IKEA is raising wages again to $15.

Mid-Southerners are excited about the store's decision.

“I think minimum wage should go up. I think, personally, it's not enough for people to live on,” one Memphian said.

The question now is whether other stores in the area follow IKEA's lead and raise starting wages too.

“It really depends on what type of business you've got,” Patel said. “I mean, if IKEA makes money, then they can raise minimum wage, because if you want to make money, you definitely have to pay money, so it really depends on how successful IKEA will be.”

IKEA officials hope the benefits of the higher wage will result in a larger applicant pool and employees staying with the company longer.

The store is set to open in the fall of 2016.

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