On its most recent earnings call, the retailer said its earnings per share growth was negatively impacted by about 5 percent due to wage initiatives, incremental investments, pension costs and foreign exchange. Morgan Stanley estimates the wage hike accounted for 60 percent of that amount.
At that time, the company also said it expects these factors to weigh 9 percent on its earnings per share growth during this fiscal year, which is expected to fall in a range of $3.24 to $3.28, compared to $3.15 the prior year.
Next year, TJX will once again raise the hourly pay for all of its U.S. workers, to $10 an hour. Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger said wage headwinds will be more pronounced in 2016, accounting for about a 10 cent per share hit, and moderate slightly in 2017 to about 8 cents a share.
When it comes to sheer numbers, Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million workers around the world, compared to TJX's roughly 198,000, Gap's 150,000 and Ikea's 123,000.
But analysts emphasized that Wal-Mart's investments are not all about raising the minimum wage. The company is also adding approximately 8,000 department managers, with those working in certain departments starting at an hourly wage of $15. It will also add roughly 3,500 department managers this holiday to facilitate in-store pickup.
"There's some additional cost that's going into the structural cost of the stores," Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch told CNBC.
Despite the dramatic slide in its stock, Johnson said Wal-Mart's move highlights that retailers are finally starting to remember the importance of investing in human capital. Not only does better compensating workers create a more enjoyable in-store experience, it also reduces turnover — therefore cutting back on the cost of hiring and training workers — and helps discourage employee theft.
The majority of this type of theft occurs in the final weeks of a worker's tenure, Johnson said.
Barclays analyst Meredith Adler told CNBC that while it will likely take years for Wal-Mart to turn things around, increasing its investments is a necessary step toward making its stores stand for more than just low prices.
"The old Wal-Mart model of being all about price, it just doesn't work anymore," she said.