Sainsbury's has given its shop workers a 4% pay rise, the highest increase in more than a decade, to take staff wages to just above average for the sector.
It says 137,000 of its workers will see their pay rise from £7.08 an hour to £7.36 from the end of this month.
The new rate will also apply to its 40,000 workers who are under 25.
According to the British Retail Consortium the median wages for hourly-paid workers in the retail industry currently stands at £7.30 an hour.
Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe praised the hard work and dedication of his staff.
Under plans announced in the Budget, workers aged over 25 in the UK will be paid a minimum of £7.20 an hour from April next year, rising to £9 by 2020. This compares to a minimum wage of £6.50 at present.
The shop workers' union Usdaw welcomed Sainsbury's pay increase.
"I'm pleased the company has listened to us as significant increases in retail pay is long overdue," said national officer Joanne McGuinness.
"We meet with the company every year and make a strong case for decent rewards for staff, particularly around pay, and the new rate of £7.36 is a step in that direction.
"For the small number of staff not covered by the increase we will make representations to the company to address this issue."