Good Jobs are Good Practice

notes on Ton, Zeynep. “Why Good Jobs are Good for Retailers.” Harvard Business Review. Jan-Feb 2012. Highly successful retail chains — such as Quick-Trip convenience stores, Mercadona and Trader Joe’s supermarkets, and Costco wholesale clubs — not only invest heavily in store employees but also have the lowest prices in their industries, solid financial performance, and better … Continue reading

Costco: “New Luxury” for American Consumers

notes on Gertner, Jon. “Costco Nation.” Money. 32.10 (2003): 124-129. Business Source Premier. America’s favorite luxury warehouse. Costco’s high-end items are a huge part of their appeal to the American middle class. Costco is good — indeed, Costco is exceptional — at knowing what middle-class Americans need: peanut butter, paper towels, Snickers bars and lots and lots … Continue reading

Decency Means More: Costco vs Walmart

notes on Cascio, Wayne F. 2006. “Decency Means more than ‘Always Low Prices’: A Comparison of Costco to Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club.” Academy of Management Perspectives 20 (3). 26-37 Wal-Mart’s focus: lowest possible prices, always. Company’s core values seem to drive its exploitative and even illegal behavior. How do they get their low prices? “Low wages for … Continue reading

Costco CEO Jim Sinegal

CEO and President of US’s third-largest retailer. Reputation for low prices (very narrow profit margins) but also for taking care of employees. 86% of Costco employees get healthcare and benefits — even though half are only part-time. Avg wage: $19/hour. Costco has had no layoffs in the recession. “It’s really pretty simple. It’s good business. … Continue reading

Retail Stores

Q. In 2006 you sold the Crane retail stores. Do you fear that you’re getting away from the core product the company is known for? A. No. We had 23 retail stores, and we closed some and sold the balance. We sell to 4,000 independent stores, but that number is dwindling. What we’re doing is … Continue reading