Why I Shop at Costco and Will Never Set Foot in a Walmart Store

Steve Kinsman By Steve Kinsman, 14th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/36oavo3n/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Costco proves you can pay workers a decent wage and still generate great profits.

Costco vs.Walmart

My wife Carol and I love to shop at Costco. The bargains are great and the employees are always friendly and helpful and seem very happy to work there. On the other hand, I have never set foot inside a Walmart store, and I never will. Six members of the Walton family own more wealth than the bottom thirty percent of the American population. That's right - six Waltons own more wealth than over ninety million Americans combined. And they have achieved that wealth on the backs of their grossly underpaid workers, many of whom need food stamps in order to survive.

Last week Costco CEO Craig Jelinek came out in favor of raising the minimum wage in America to $10.10 an hour, and increase of $2.85 over the current minimum of $7.25 an hour. This week Costco reported a profit of $537 million during the last quarter, up from $394 million during the same quarter last year. Jelinek issued a statement in response to the news: "At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the minimum wage."

As CEO of Costco, Jelinek earns $400,000, about nine times more than the average Costco worker, who made about $45,000 in 2011. By contrast, Walmart's CEO Michael Duke earned a salary of $35 million in 2010, or $16,892.92 per hour, while newly-hired workers earn $8.75 an hour or $13,650 a year.

The extra pay of Costco workers, about two-and-a-half to three times what the average Walmart worker earns, pays off handsomely. Costco makes over $10,000 per employee, while Walmart takes home about $7,400 per worker. Costco's Jelinek welcomes the unionization of his workers, and he provides them with another benefit Walmart workers can only dream about: health insurance for all full and part-time employees.

It is a joy to shop at Costco, where employees never leave, so we get to know them on a personal basis, where we are treated with respect by helpful and friendly folks with smiling faces, and where we know that management treats its workers like the human beings they are, and not as slaves.

Tags

Costco, Opinion, Sams Club, Steve Kinsman, Walmart

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar Stella Mitchell
14th Mar 2013 (#)

I have never been in either store Steve as we don't have them in the UK but Costco would win my vote any day were they here.
Bless you for this article .
Stella

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author avatar Songbird B
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Asda here in the UK is part of the Walmart group I think, but our local store that we use for our weekly shop seem to hold onto their staff and they are a friendly bunch with generally excellent service..I would rather shop there than Tesco's . It amazes me how Costco could get it so right and understand how important it is to look after the staff Steve, and yet a giant like Walmart can get it so wrong.. Those that have excessive wealth don't like giving it away do they?

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
14th Mar 2013 (#)

The Walton's certainly don't like parting with any of their money.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
14th Mar 2013 (#)

We try to avoid Walmart too.
Now Target has moved in. Are they any better?

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Target has a pitiful record in terms of how it treats its employees.

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author avatar Reni Sentana-Ries
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Excellent posting, Steve. The difference between the two chief's is, one is greedy and the other is not, one has a heart for his workers that make him a rich man, and the other does not. The modest one is grateful, and the other is not and makes his employees objects for personal enrichment. My solution is: end the money system.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
14th Mar 2013 (#)

I am totally for ending the money system. Most people just assume money is necessary. It is not.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
14th Mar 2013 (#)

What would you replace it with?

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
15th Mar 2013 (#)

A resource based society where the world's resources would be free and available to all. Check out thevenusproject.com, or download the zeitgeist movies. Thank for commenting Jerry.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
15th Mar 2013 (#)

another of your enlightening pages Steve...thank you for 'putting it into our faces' hope some take heed...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
15th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you cnwriter.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Mar 2013 (#)

To live in an island of prosperity surrounded by misery is akin to living in a fool's paradise. The wealthy tend to forget that they shortchange those more in need. Not a good way to live and leave! Thanks Steve for this highlight - siva

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
15th Mar 2013 (#)

Thank you Siva. I always appreciate your comments.

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author avatar M G Singh
17th Mar 2013 (#)

Walmart has become an institution. Its catching up in a big way in India in collaboration with the local brand Easy Day. In Singapore also people seem to love it.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
17th Mar 2013 (#)

Sorry to hear that.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
17th Mar 2013 (#)

Well, Steve, I cannot say that what you have written here is not true because it is, but I also have to confess that I shop at Walmarts and Sam's Club as well as at Coscos. I'm not saying that I should or that patronizing them is right, I'm just saying that I do.

I hope that you are having a good weekend. From some of the crap I have read on your other articles this morning, it should at least be an entertaining one. Enjoy your Sunday. I'm going to take my neighbors two little boys fishing this afternoon after Cathy leaves for work.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
17th Mar 2013 (#)

Thanks Jerry - have a great day fishing while I'm dealing with a crazy "Christian."

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