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Good Benefits Are Good Business for Costco

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Apparently, it is possible to pay workers a living wage and post strong quarterly earnings as well, at least if wholesale company Costco’s success is any indication.

Barely a week after Costco president and CEO Craig Jelinek publicly supported the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would raise the wage floor from its current $7.25 an hour rate to $10.10 an hour (still only about half of what U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says it would be if it kept up with “worker productivity”), his company reported a quarterly profit of $537 million, nearly $150 million more than last year’s corresponding quarter.

“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” Jelinek said in a statement on Huffington Post. “We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”

“Costco is known for paying its workers wages that are generally above average for the retail industry,” continued HuffPo. “An average Costco worker made about $45,000 in 2011, according to Fortune. That’s compared to an average of about $17,486 per year for a worker at comparable Walmart-owned Sam’s Club.”

Costco operates over 600 warehouses worldwide, reports the Wall Street Journal, with 435 of them in the United States, including locations in West Springfield and Enfield, Conn.•

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