If you’ve decided to pursue a career in retail, it’s important to pick the right company to work for, one that values your contributions and offers a steady, somewhat predictable path to advancement. You also might want to consider how it treats its customers, which could provide a clue as to how you’ll be treated. Finally, is the company committed to sustainability? Do they adhere to ethical standards that would make you feel proud to work for them? Many companies say they do all these things in their glossy employee handbooks and public press releases, but do they deliver?
The Good Company Index (GCI) ranks Fortune 500 companies based on employee satisfaction, treatment of customers, commitment to sustainability, and adherence to ethical standards. Based on these metrics, the top three best retailers to work for include Apple, Costco Wholesale and Best Buy. These retailers were also rated using employee feedback on sites like Glassdoor.com and Fortune magazine's list of best companies to work for. Here are the top three:
While the hourly starting pay for Apple retail employees is nothing to shout about, and most salespeople earn no commission, the retailer does offer above average pay. The company also provides an attractive benefits package, including generous health care, 401(k) contributions and the chance to buy company stock, as well as Apple products at a discount—benefits most retailers are loathe to offer in these tough economic times. Technically degreed, computer savvy Apple Geniuses remain passionate and committed to their jobs, staying with Apple at a 90%, rate, which is uncommonly high for the retail industry. Those who finally do leave, have plenty of street cred to show their next prospective employer, for the fast pace and tech skills Apple demands of its employees have become legendary.
The nation’s second largest retailer pays its workers good wages and offers a nice benefits package. While Costco won’t hire “B” school grads, it grooms employees who work the floor and sponsors them through grad school. In fact, 70% of its warehouse managers “moved up from the floor.” A Glassdoor survey gave Costco high marks for benefits, culture and values, career opportunities and work/life balance. If you’re thinking of applying for a job at Costco, you might want to practice answering their interview questions. These are typical of what you can expect for Program Manager, Marketing Specialist, Assistant Controller, Branch Office Administrator, Senior Accountant and others.
Best Buy is the world’s largest multi-channel consumer electronics retailer. It employs more than 140,000 people in various positions, including technical specialists, distribution specialists, client service specialists, store managers and top managers. The company’s benefits package includes health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, as well as special health-care and dependent-care spending accounts. Also included is an employee stock purchase program. Glassdoor gave Best Buy fairly high marks for benefits, culture and values, career opportunities and work/life balance. CareerBliss employee-submitted reviews also give Best Buy decent marks as a retailer to work for.
Looking for a career in retail? Look into the top three mentioned above to launch your career.
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