6 Retailers Attracting the Nation’s Top Talent

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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Attracting and maintaining a highly skilled workforce is critical as retailers continue to pack the enterprise with game-changing tech designed to foster meaningful interaction and long-term loyalty.

It has always been a challenge to build a top-performing employee base thanks to the retail’s high turnover rates. Couple that with the tech requirements of today’s associates and the low unemployment rate across the nation, and the competition for quality talent gets even thicker.

To attract quality employees and to ensure they remain engaged with their employer, retailers offer a host of benefits and perks designed to promote employee happiness.

For the 21st consecutive year Fortune along with Great Places to Work have ranked the top 100 best employers in the U.S. Each company is scored on anonymous employee responses to more than 50 survey questions on the Trust Index Survey, together with our evaluation of company programs and practices as measured through a Culture Audit assessment.

here to view the entire list. Below is a quick look at the six retailers that made the list this year.

Wegmans Food Markets. The century-old grocery chain finished second on Fortune’s ranking for the second year in a row, and has made the coveted list 21 times. In addition to the stated mission of helping its customers live healthier, better lives through nutritious food, the retailer is committed to improving the lives of its associates. The industry-leading benefits offered employees include: telecommuting, compressed work weeks, subsidized gym memberships, health insurance and tuition reimbursement. The average base pay for a store department managers is $66,446. Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 2.

REI. REI is a mainstay in Fortune’s ranking, having made the list 21 times. However, the sporting goods and outdoor retailers dropped 15 positions from last year’s 28th place finish this year. The co-operative retailers employs just under 13 thousand employees across the enterprise and offers employees compressed work weeks, fully-paid sabbaticals, health insurance and sick days for part-timers, and tuition reimbursement. The most common job for salaried employees is store manager, with an average salary including bonus in the six-figure range.  Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 43.

Build-A-Bear Workshop. Working at the fun-filled Build-A-Bear Workshop is a dream job for many retail workers, a dream that is not easily achieved. On average the retailer receives 125 applicants per job opening, with only 18% of full-time voluntary turnover. In addition, nearly 60% of job openings are filled internally, making breaking into Build-A-Bear even more competitive. In addition to health insurance for part-time workers, part-time associates receive three sick days ― full-time workers received 15 sick days and 22 general paid time off days. Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 55.

Sheetz. The family owned convenience store chain based in Altoona, PA prides itself on making its family members earn their positions. Any family member in a leadership role must complete at least two years of training and have worked outside the company for a minimum of three years. The retailer has made the list four out of the last five years and improved on last year’s ranking by 11 positions. Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 66.

Nordstrom. The upscale department store brand improved from its 94th place finish last year to claim the 88th position this year. Nordstrom is committed to providing opportunities to minorities, with 53% of its staff listed as minorities. In addition, the retailer reports that 45% of its technology staff are people of color. The retailer offers significant discounts to employees and as an added bonus Nordstrom staff that retire after the age of 55 and have worked for the brand for 15 years can keep their employee discount for life. Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 88.

The Container Store. Retail associates choose to work for The Container Store because of its above average pay and solid benefit package for part-time workers. Employees are further invested in the retailer thanks to the large portion of stock that is held by employees. Despite the obvious benefits of working for the retailer, the average job opening receives just 15 applicants, a vast drop off compared to many of the others in Fortune’s report. Fortune 100 Best Ranking: 93.