I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Anti-Wal-Mart

I've been meaning to post this gem for a week. This challenges the notion that discount retailers have to pay their workers poorly, as Wal-Mart most certainly does. Costco has succeeded because they pay their workers, and give them better benefits. Definitely not an industry norm, but it should be.

"Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

"Mr. Sinegal begs to differ. He rejects Wall Street's assumption that to succeed in discount retailing, companies must pay poorly and skimp on benefits, or must ratchet up prices to meet Wall Street's profit demands."

"Good wages and benefits are why Costco has extremely low rates of turnover and theft by employees, he said. And Costco's customers, who are more affluent than other warehouse store shoppers, stay loyal because they like that low prices do not come at the workers' expense. "This is not altruistic," he said. "This is good business." [NYT]

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