Great Companies to Work for in Retail

John Scott
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With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, the number of part-time and temporary retail jobs available is set to increase. People already employed by retail companies are getting ready to create eye-catching window displays and order merchandise to fill the shelves. During this busy time, working for one of the best retail companies makes the job a little easier. These companies are known for their organizational values and attractive employment policies.

IKEA is one of the most popular retail companies across the board. It came in at number thirteen on the list of best retail companies to work for compiled by The Retail Life. It also took the number two slot on the "Forbes" magazine "Top 10 Retail Companies to Work For" list. The company is known for its positive culture, and continued expansion makes more retail jobs available to workers each year.

Costco Wholesale was the third retail company on the 2013 "Forbes" list. Kim Peterson of MSN Money even said Costco may be the happiest company in the world. Unlike many other companies, Costco furnishes executive offices with faux-wood furniture and inexpensive decorative items. The company is also very generous with employee wages, especially when compared to other retail companies. The average hourly wage for a Wal-Mart employee is $12.67, but it is $20.89 for Costco employees. This approach keeps turnover low and helps Costco perform well. In August, comparable sales exceeded analyst predictions.

Nordstrom often appears on the lists of best places to work published in "Fortune," "Forbes," and other magazines. Employees are allowed to use their best judgment when making decisions, which sets the high-end retailer apart from other retail companies. Instead of giving new employees handbooks full of rules and regulations, Nordstrom managers give out note cards that list one rule: use good judgment at all times.

REI has been named one of the "Fortune" best places to work every year since 1998. The company contributes to employee retirement plans without requiring the employees to make individual contributions, and part-time employees receive the same benefits as full-time employees. Managers also encourage their staff to maintain work-life balance and make it easier to do by giving workers free equipment rentals and discounts on their purchases. REI also awards gear grants to make it easier for employees to take on personal outdoor challenges.

The United States has thousands of retail companies, but not all of them offer the same wages and benefits. If you are responsible for hiring or managing retail workers, follow the companies on this list closely. You may not be able to offer significant wage increases, but there are things you can do to bring your policies more in line with those of great retail companies. Doing so can help you reduce turnover and increase employee engagement.

(Photo courtesy of stockimages /


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