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story.lead_photo.caption Cars fill the parking lot Friday at Walmart’s home office in Bentonville. Go to nwaonline.com/200314Daily/ for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Ben Goff)

Walmart Inc. paid bonuses totaling $4.25 million to its Arkansas hourly workers Thursday, the company said in a news release. Nationwide, Walmart employees got a total of $180 million.

The Bentonville-based retailer said in March that it would distribute first-quarter bonuses in late April -- a month early -- to help its store, club and supply chain workers through the stressful and challenging weeks of the coronavirus pandemic and reward them for their hard work in serving customers.

The quarterly bonuses are based on store performance.

Donna Morris, Walmart's chief people officer, also said in the release that the retailer has met its goal to hire 200,000 employees to work in its stores, clubs, and distribution and fulfillment centers. The company began an expedited hiring process March 192020 to help handle a surge in store traffic and online orders.

"We are humbled to be able to give an opportunity to so many Americans to work, often serving as a bridge to employment, while helping Walmart better serve customers during this time of increased demand," Morris said.

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