Independent Christian Voice

Friday

Unlike Wal-Mart's business practices, Costco finds decency is compatible with profitability

ABCNews.com posted a must-read story about how a responsible company operates:
What's the secret behind building a multibillion-dollar business empire that has instant name recognition? You might think it depends on a CEO who's ruthlessly competitive and drives company workers relentlessly. Well, Jim Sinegal isn't your typical CEO, and Costco, the business he founded, is not your typical store.

While it may be unorthodox, nobody could say Sinegal's business strategy isn't working. About 45 million shoppers visit Costco, and for some of them the experience borders on the spiritual. Shopper Jose Davila put it this way: "This is the best place in the world. It's like going to church on Sunday. You can't get anything better than this. This is a religious experience."

And Sinegal isn't just interested in taking care of his customers. He wants to take good care of his employees. [...]

Costco has the lowest employee turnover rate in retailing. Its turnover is five times lower than its chief rival, Wal-Mart. And Costco pays higher than average wages — $17 an hour — 40 percent more than Sam's Club, the warehouse chain owned by Wal-Mart. And it offers better than average benefits, including health care coverage to more than 90 percent of its workforce. [...]

In an era when many CEOs are seen as greedy and sometimes corrupt, Sinegal is proving that good guys can finish first — and without all the corporate frills. Sinegal even sends out his own faxes from his barebones office-without-walls at company headquarters near Seattle. But the most remarkable thing about Sinegal is his salary — $350,000 a year, a fraction of the millions most large corporate CEOs make.

[Read full article]

Why can't we have a Costco here in Oklahoma City? I would love to support a socially conscious company like Costco with my shopping dollars. I refuse to shop Wal-Mart, even if some of their prices are cheaper. I want clean hands and a clear conscious when I purchase food and/or consumer goods; I don't want my consumerism to add to the burden of those less fortunate than me. We need more Costco-type companies in America. It's a breath of fresh air.

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