Today the “retail apocalypse” is a recurring theme in the media. Read one too many accounts of high profile closures and bankruptcies and you might think that there is no future for brick and mortar retail.
But look a little closer and you might see a different picture — that we are living through a period of transition and (to paraphrase Mark Twain) rumors of retail’s demise are greatly exaggerated. After all, online retailers such as Warby Parker, Bonobos and Amazon have opened physical locations in the past few years.
Here’s a clue as to why: around 91% of all retail sales last year were made at a brick-and-mortar location, while one study predicts that the number will stand at 80% in 2025. Online shopping may be convenient, but it can’t replace the immediateness and in-store experience physical locations have to offer when done well. However, brick-and-mortar retailers need to focus on innovation to keep pace with change.
So with all that in mind, we wanted to know which are the top-rated workplaces in the retail sector this year. Our data analytics team looked beyond the news headlines, analyzing data from over 100 million ratings and reviews listed on Indeed Company Pages to find out.
Supermarket chain H-E-B leads diverse mix of retailers
Reclaiming the top spot is last year’s number one, Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B. In fact, grocery and convenience stores make a strong showing on this year’s list, occupying four of the top five positions.
San Antonio-based H-E-B is taking the principle of innovation to heart, as it thinks like a tech company by opening a facility dedicated to innovation and grocery technology in Austin, Texas. This comes after the company’s recent acquisition of food-delivery service Favor earlier this year, giving the grocery chain access to the company’s consumer-facing tech and on-demand delivery system.
Following H-E-B is Costco Wholesale, up from fifth place last year, while New York-based Wegmans places third, up from sixth place last year. Wegmans is staying ahead of the game by innovating their in-store experience and recently became the first supermarket chain in the nation to offer services through Aira, which allows blind and visually impaired users the opportunity to use their smartphone as a second pair of eyes. The service lets users find specific grocery items such as a particular brand of cereal from store shelves.
Clothing and apparel retailers also receive a lot of love from their employees. Athletics giant Nike ranks fourth, making it the only company in the top five that isn’t a grocery or convenience store chain. Nike recently made headlines for its controversial ad campaign featuring former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. The firm is also innovating with “digital demand sensing,” which is intended to make their supply chain system faster and more flexible.
At number 10 we see luxury department store chain Nordstrom, followed by a string of apparel retailers such as footwear chain Foot Locker at number 11, while Gap Inc., one of the largest fashion and clothing retailers in…