The Best Retail Companies to Work For in 2017

Today there is no doubt that the retail sector is going through a period of change and disruption. As a result, the stories we read in the media are often very dramatic. We’ve all heard about the store closures from major retailers such as JCPenney, Radioshack, Sears and Macy’s. Spooky photos of abandoned shopping malls have become media staples.

But there is also good news. At the Annual Global Retailing Conference, Goldman Sachs reported that 76% of retail companies it surveyed had earnings that beat out their second quarter estimates. And while some traditional brick-and-mortar stores are facing challenges, e-commerce powerhouses like Amazon are making the online retail experience easier than ever before.

Meanwhile, retail continues to provide millions of people with jobs. In fact, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail salespeople and cashiers jobs account for 6% of all US employment—8.1 million people in total. And as more of the retail sector moves online, the types of jobs we find in the sector may change,  with a stronger emphasis on warehouses and fulfillment centers.

So in this time of change, which retail companies offer the best experiences to their employees? Our data scientists analyzed Indeed’s database of more than 15 million employer reviews to find out the answers. Here’s what they found.

Texas supermarket chain H-E-B leads a diverse list of stores

So who places first for retail? It’s southwestern supermarket giant H-E-B, which operates hundreds of stores across Texas. But the rest of the top 15 features a wide array of firms, including a toy store, sports retail and even coffee.

The Texas-based grocery store H-E-B leads our list of the best retailers to work for. In general, grocery stores make a strong showing, with Costco Wholesale at #5, Wegmans at #6, Trader Joe’s at 8 and Publix at #10. Convenience stores also fare well on this list, with QuickTrip at #4, Wawa at #14 and KwikTrip at #15.

However, while firms offering customers an affordable shopping experience do well we also see some niche retailers or sporting brands on the list. For instance, Build-a-Bear workshop places third, while Lululemon Athletica, a Canadian athletic apparel retailer appears at # 7 and VANS comes ninth.

These top companies also have headquarters located across a fairly even geographic spread. Lush Cosmetics and Lululemon Athletica are both based in Canada, HEB and Fossil are based in Texas, and Vans and Trader Joe’s both have headquarters in California. In the northeast, we see just Wawa and Wegmans, while the midwest wins out, with Minnesota-based Maurice’s, Wisconsin-based KwikTrip, and Missouri-based Build-a-Bear Workshop. Depending on how you classify the geographic location of Oklahoma, Quiktrip might even be included as well.

Who’s not on the list? Large department stores like Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney, as well as other well-known department stores that have fallen on hard times.

And if you think you’re seeing double, you’re not completely wrong. QuikTrip, a convenience store chain with…

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