By Michael Messina
During Ethical Consumer Week (April 10-14, #ECW) Labor 411 is asking that people shop ethically via companies that treat their employees well. A company that inevitably comes up in these conversations is Costco.
It boggles people’s minds that such a large, warehouse-type company can not only pay its workers well, but also provides high-quality products and thrives financially at the same time.
If you want to go just on numbers here, Forbes called Costco “one of the most efficient retailers in the U.S.” comparing it to Walmart on a revenue-per-square-foot metric with the latter coming out lacking.
This metric is a key indicator of how effectively a retailer is utilizing its space to drive revenues. According to our estimates, Costco’s revenue per square foot is likely to increase from $1,540 in 2017 to nearly $1,640 by the end of our forecast period.
Walmart, on the other hand generates less than half of these revenues per square foot, although we expect these to rise at a faster pace.
Here at Labor 411, we’re more concerned with people than with numbers. Costco has long enjoyed a reputation for taking care of its employees. Last year the company raised its starting wage to $13 an hour, and Costco provides benefits after a probationary period for both full- and part-time employees.
The company even has a Code of Ethics posted on its website that addresses four key points:
1. Obey the law.
2. Take care of our members.
3. Take care of our employees.
4. Respect our suppliers.
And no one seems to be able to talk about Costco without mentioning their awesome selection of alcohol. At Labor 411, we always say you can drink your way to a stronger America, and Costco is proving us right. A recent article by the A.V. Club notes Costco’s amazing ability to keep their booze prices low. Their selection is fantastic, and it’s easy to get stuck in that part of the store.
From the A.V. Club:
The industry standard for alcohol is about a 25 to 45 percent markup depending on how premium the liquor is. But Costco’s entire brand is built around providing the best value for its customer, so the company routinely tacks on only 10 to 14 percent to Kirkland-branded alcohols. The result is an incredibly affordable product that people enjoy enough to come back to again and again.
For Ethical Consumer Week, Costco is a great choice. Shop knowing you are supporting a good company that supports good jobs.
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