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Stores Can Keep Prices Low and Raise Wages

July 13, 2015
Plain English Version

good wages1

 Is there a future in working for a retail chain? More than 4.5 million Americans work for retail stores. They are among the lowest paid workers in the country.

Most retailers see their workforce as a cost of doing business. They try to pay their workers the least they can. They plan their work hours for the benefit of the company. Work schedules often undermine parenting or school attendance.

Recently, good profits and public awareness have led some big companies to be better employers.

Are there other reasons why employers should pay more and recognize the value their work force? A recent book entitled “The Good Jobs Strategy” says yes. The book is about how owners of retail stores can pay more and still be successful. How stores can stay competitive and be places where people want to shop.

One company that is doing this is called Mercadona. It is a grocery chain in Spain. Another is an American company is called QuikTrip. It is like a 7-Eleven. It is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

A store becomes better when its employees are well trained, allowing them to do different jobs in the store. When their wages are higher, they will have more incentive to satisfy customers. They will be more motivated to solve problems. They will have more leeway in solving problems in their stores. The shelves will be better stocked. Store promotions will take place on time.

When stores do this well good results can be expected. Sales will increase. The cost of operating goes down. The workforce stays loyal to the employer.

The author says it is possible that stores can keep prices low and pay workers a living wage.

Source: The New York Times July 7, 2015


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