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The 10 Best Retailers to Work For

Retailers With the Highest Employee Ratings


Working in retail may not be your idea of a dream job, but some companies do a better job than others of creating a positive atmosphere where employees actually don’t dread showing up to work each day.

Glassdoor, an online career community, analyzed nearly 20,000 employee reviews on the site for more than 100 retail companies to find out which businesses people enjoy working for the most. The ratings, which go from one to five (the higher, the better), incorporate a wide range of factors including work/life balance, compensation, the quality of the management team and more. The data was collected during the 12-month period ending Nov. 2.

Glassdoor’s results are as interesting for the businesses that do rank high as for those that don’t make the cut. Some of the biggest names in retail like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Target fail to crack the top 10, suggesting that the businesses most popular among customers aren’t always the most popular among employees.

For those who are looking to get a holiday retail job or a full-time position, the retailers at the top of Glassdoor’s list may just be your best bet. Here are the top 10 retailers with the best employee ratings, from lowest score to highest. If you or someone you know has worked at one of these chains, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section about your work experience at the company!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pottery Barn


Employee Rating: 3.4

Several current and former Pottery Barn employees complained about the pay and the hours, but most agree that the work environment is positive and the staff genuinely works well together.

“Everyone seems like they truly want to be there when they come to work,” one sales associate currently at the company wrote in their review. “All the employees get along.”

Photo Credit: Rob Young

The Container Store


Employee Rating: 3.4

Unlike some of the other stores on the list, employees praise the products sold almost as much as the actual pay and benefits of working at the company. In essence, it seems that many who work at The Container Store truly believe in the company itself, which improves their attitude toward working there.

"Very positive pro-employee culture. Very respectful employee/manager relationships. Simply the best retail company to work for in business today,” one current part-time worker says of the company, before highlighting the one major downside. “New opportunities are often rare because hardly anyone wants to leave the company and new stores would often mean relocating.”

Photo Credit: chadmagiera

The Buckle


Employee Rating: 3.4

Employees at this upscale clothing retailer say they enjoyed very flexible schedules, ample commissions on sales and discounts of up to 40% off on all merchandise. As one employee summed it up, “They have an amazing scheduling system, and their benefits package is one of the best I have seen, as well as a good discount.”

That said, there is immense pressure to do a good job at this company. Another reviewer said that salespersons are evaluated on an hourly basis and if they fall below a certain number of sales, their hours might be cut back.

Photo Credit: Buckle.com

Nordstrom


Employee Rating: 3.5

Decent salaries including benefits and a generous commission helped earn Nordstrom high marks from its employees. Some did complain that the management wasn’t always top-notch and staff members could feel competitive with one another, since each individual is pressured to hit certain target sales figures. But on the whole, the staff was satisfied with working at the company.

“It is a great place to learn and grow wether [sic] you want a career in retail or while you are pursuing education in something else, or just looking for work,” one current employee wrote in their review.

Photo Credit: WikiCommons.org

Sleepy's


Employee Rating: 3.6

Who hasn’t dreamed of working at Sleepy’s just so you can have a true nap time during your lunch hour? Oh, it’s just me? Well, never mind.

Nap time or not, Sleepy’s employees are generally satisfied with the salary and benefits the company provides as well as the thorough training program which gives staff a chance to build relationships and hone their skills. The downside, according to several reviews, is that the hours can be long and there is a decent chance you’ll end up working the sales floor alone, which only makes the day feel longer.

Photo Credit: Lee Cannon

Lakeshore Learning Materials


Employee Rating: 3.7

Lakeshore Learning Materials may sell supplies for the classroom, but the people who work there describe it as being a very casual place to work. Employees also praise the company for having higher-than-average salaries including bonuses and even annual profit-sharing arrangements to give everyone a greater incentive to help the company succeed.

Photo Credit: Lakeshorelearning.com

Costco Wholesale


Employee Rating: 3.8

Costco is the only one of the big box retailers to make the cut. Many of the reviews focused on two positives of working at the company: better-than-average salaries and the opportunity to be promoted from within to higher-level positions. Salespeople typically make in the $10-$12 range per hour while cashiers earn about $15 per hour.

Photo Credit: greenwenvy08

Wayfair


Employee Rating: 3.8

Wayfair, formerly known as CSN Stores, offers home décor and furniture to customers and the chance to grow for employees. Many reviews from current and former staff members gave high marks to the company for helping to nurture the careers of those just starting out in the workforce and provide some opportunity to climb up the company ladder. The only downside is that some say it can be a stressful job.

“They treat their employees well, and there is a lot of room for internal growth,” one former customer service representative wrote in a review, before noting that “it is a cut-throat environment for sales consultants and can be emotionally draining.”

Photo Credit: Wayfair.com

J.Crew


Employee Rating: 3.9

J.Crew employees use a word to describe their jobs that is rarely used in retail, let alone most occupations: “Fun.” In review after review, current and former staffers describe the store’s environment as being upbeat, friendly and full of good people. As an added perk, J.Crew’s CEO happens to have the highest employee approval rating (98%) of any company on this list, showing that employees are not only content with their job but confident in the company leadership as well.

Photo Credit: Jcrew.com

REI


Employee Rating: 4.0

REI beats out all other retailers when it comes to employee satisfaction. Workers at this outdoor clothing and equipment chain showered praise on the business for having a friendly and supportive work environment that makes working there a valuable experience.

“The atmosphere is great. Everyone is very supportive of your career goals and will go out of their way to help you along,” one current employee writes on Glassdoor.com. “That and the discount is a wonderful perk!”

Photo Credit: Rei.com

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