Though the retail world is commonly built off of minimum wage workers, various companies seek to raise the bar for their employees. These stand-out businesses vary in products sold and consist of numerous retail branches, including sales in clothing, toys, home appliances, and more. This article will explore the best jobs in retail, so you can land a role at your dream company.
Wondering where to start? If you’re looking to throw your hat in the ring of retail, you’ll want to search for a position and company that value you. With seemingly billions of options, it can be difficult to figure out which companies or stores are worthy of your consideration. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task, though! Here at JobGet, we are here to help you navigate the uncharted waters of the retail job market, one paragraph at a time.
What qualifies a retail company as “the best?” In this article, benefits, salary, work environment and culture, and employee discounts are given special attention. Though these are wonderful advantages to a job, be warned to choose a position that you enjoy, too. For example, applying to a craft store may not be the best course of action, regardless of how good the employee benefits are, if your interest lies more in beauty marketing or cosmetics. At the end of the day, an ideal job match ends with you being happy in your field, and it’s no different for retail work.
If you value the great outdoors, then consider applying to REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)! REI is a company that has worked hard to implement a fun and friendly culture, both on the job and outside of work. What sets them apart from the rest is their special programs to celebrate their employees and the outdoors simultaneously. Nature adventures are encouraged by offering employees one day off every six months to go outside and play (a day commonly referred to as Yay Day). Besides, REI extends grants, adoption assistance, tuition reimbursement, frequent bonuses, and public transit subsidies. Some locations even have an employee dog park on the premises, so you don’t have to be away from your furry friends while on the job!
Average Salary: $17.07/hr
Employee Discount: 50% off all REI products, 30% off brand-name, 10% off sale items
Much like REI, L.L. Bean stresses the importance of having fun outdoors. With designated days to bond with colleagues on company outings, an abundance of sporting equipment for salaried employees to borrow, and discounted wellness classes and gym memberships, L.L. Bean upholds a culture of rewarding hard work. The company boasts competitive pay and medical insurance, tuition reimbursement, a generous retirement plan, and paid-time-off for eligible employees. Bonuses are not uncommon, either, with the implementation of a cash performance bonus program. To top it all off, employees are selected through a lottery to have access to tent and cabin sites in the Rangeley Lake region of Maine!
Average Salary: $15.74/hr
Employee Discount: 20-33.3% off
Nordstrom has a great reputation when it comes to employee happiness and satisfaction. They have a great training program and make sure that their employees are prepared to excel in sales. They pay staff on commission, so if you are looking for a job to push you in the sales arena, this is a great contender! Nordstrom also offers benefits to their part-timers, too! Both full-time and part-time staff benefit from health insurance, 401(k), life, disability, accidental death insurance, paid time off, and adoption assistance. In addition to all this, the fashion retailers promote a lively work atmosphere by holding Fashion Fridays, ugly sweater contests, and other fun-spirited parties!
Average Salary: $17.59/hr
Employee Discount: 20% off
This well-known company displays a culture of a healthy work-life balance. GAP aims to show employees that they are valued and needed with flexible scheduling, creativity and wellness employee programs, and even community investment benefits. Health benefits and other resources to support families (such as leave extensions, phase-in/out programs, and child-/elder-/pet- care resources) are offered to employees based on their individual needs. Though the salary is not as high as other retailers mentioned, GAP makes up for this in flexibility and openness to progressive programs. Of course, a major cherry on top of this retail job is a relaxed dress code that allows a t-shirt and jeans!
Average Salary: $14.08/hr
Employee Discount: 50% off GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and 25% off Athleta
Aldi is one of America’s fastest-growing retailers. With a simple store layout, dirt low prices, and the omission of plastic bags, Aldi stands apart from the rest. For employees, Aldi is a fast-paced environment that rewards hard work and the completion of common goals. If you are looking for lots of hours and an above-decent salary, Aldi might be the perfect opportunity for you! In addition to exceptional wages, Aldi also offers generous health insurance (employees only pay half of what they would normally pay for insurance at other companies), retirement options, and paid holidays for eligible employees. Even if you don’t work full-time, health benefits are available for staff that clocks at least 25 hours. Another fun fact: many locations allow their cashiers to sit at the register while on the shift!
Average Salary: $16.07/hr
Employee Discount: none
H-E-B is a Texas grocery store chain known for its friendly, efficient, and community-driven service. Customers rave about the Texas-proud company, and so do the workers! The employees, also known as Partners, accrue some benefits, including tuition reimbursement opportunities, free daily meals, adoption assistance, a generous benefits package, paid holidays, and flexible hours. Another perk is the H-E-B Partner Stock Plan, which allows employees to become shared company owners. Among all this, H-E-B maintains Partners’ satisfaction with weekly happy hours, community outreach, and casual dress code.
Average Salary: $14.00/hr
Employee Discount: 10% off of H-E-B-branded products
According to multiple sources, Wegmans employees are generally happy to work at the company, contributing to its positive atmosphere. In addition to the above-average pay and generous benefits, Wegmans also offers employee fitness discounts, premium pay above base rate for hourly employees who work on a Sunday or a recognized holiday, a competitive scholarship program, adoption/child/elder care assistance, and paid vacation time. Perhaps a big reason for these substantial perks is Wegman’s philosophy: when they take care of their employees, they will take care of their customers.
Average Salary: $13.88/hr
Employee Discount: none
Costco recently set its minimum wage to $15 company-wide, allowing potential employees with little experience to make a living wage. They have been known to be a good company to work for, salary aside. The ability to shop after hours, increased pay for working Sundays, four complementary Costco executive cards, and even a free turkey for Thanksgiving have all been reported by employees. The free samples never hurt, either! Of course, they also offer a generous benefits package, both to full-time and part-time workers. The company was rated one of the top companies for employee compensation and benefits in 2018! If you can get behind a shift with manual labor and longer hours, then Costco is worth considering! It may even be possible down the line to acquire a work-from-home position!
Average Salary: $17.56/hr
Employee Discount: none, but free membership card for four people!
Trader Joe’s employees are widely known for their friendly and outgoing demeanor. Since the company values honest communication, employees report feeling that they can contribute to a happy atmosphere. That being said, the work environment is gregarious and aims for improvement, as shown through their semi-annual employee reviews. Trader Joe’s offers 6-month raises and the ability to work up based on performance. The benefits are nothing to blink at, either! After 3 months, employees receive generous health insurance (covering 83% of premium costs!) and a retirement plan. Workers, or Crew as they call it, have fun, too! There are taste tests galore (a huge perk for any foodie!) for workers to know the products they are selling better. Besides, the breakrooms are known to be a place for feasts to abide! Trader Joe’s makes sure their employees are well-fed and well-taken care of.
Average Salary: $17.83/hr
Employee Discount: 10% off
This one is for all the beauty gurus out there! Sephora actually requires their employees to wear makeup, so you may get to have fun with different looks in your time there! Employees also receive a plethora of products from retailers. Employees may never have to pay for their makeup again! Sephora offers many opportunities for growth (to ensure employee satisfaction) such as training, “CareerFest,” and other opportunities to learn at their very own Sephora University. Benefits are good, too, and Sephora specifically highlights that preventive care and contraceptives are covered at 100%, and transgender benefits are covered by all plans. Working for Sephora may just add that extra sparkle to your work life!
Average Salary: $15.10/hr
Employee Discount: 40% off Sephora-branded products, 20% all other brands
You might know them as the company with all the bath bombs, but there is a lot more to LUSH than their trendy shower products! LUSH stands for sustainability and aims to create an environmentally-aware atmosphere within their brand. LUSH provides all full-time employees with a comprehensive health benefits package and offers managers a paid childcare leave benefit. Along with their efforts to be kind to the earth, they emphasize charity events and pay employees to participate in these community projects, including international volunteer trips! The best part: employees always have soft hands from testing all of the products! This is one of the most fun and creative jobs in retail.
Average Salary: $14.09/hr
Employee Discount: 50% off
If you are an organization fan or just like being in a tidy environment, The Container Store may be an option for you. They consider both full and part-time employees’ needs, offering standard benefits packages, a retirement plan, and paid time off for all team members within 30 days. They also aim to increase company morale by hosting parties such as “We Love Our Employees Day.” The Container Store heavily trains staff so that they can understand the product and company better. The company also involves itself with charity work, focusing on nonprofits that promote women’s and children’s health and well-being.
Average Salary: $16.29/hr
Employee Discount: 40% off regular merchandise, 50% off Elfa products, and 30% off installation services
It’s the well-known haven for all home goods and trendy furniture that just about anyone could get lost in! IKEA is a company that values its employees and shows it with an employee loyalty program and bonuses based on performance. They offer tuition assistance for students, maternity/paternity leave and childcare for parents, and a generous health benefits package for all employees. They consider anything above 20 hours full-time, so full-time benefits may be easier to attain than the average retail job. If you don’t mind standing on your feet for a while, then consider IKEA!
Average Salary: $16.79/hr
Employee Discount: 15% off
Named one of Fortune’s most admired companies for 2020, Home Depot paves the way for employee benefits and a healthy work culture. Among many employee perks and benefits are: bonuses based on performance, paid parental leave, military commitment (complete with military spouse transfer programs), 24/7 physician support, tuition reimbursement, matching nonprofit employee donations, adoption assistance, tobacco cessation program, special needs dependents/back-up dependent care, and even pet care! The discounts are nothing to sneeze at either, covering not store products but necessary expenses like cell phone bills! It is a comprehensive list of benefits, which makes up for the lower salary (which is still above minimum wage!). There are also fun DIY workshops for both workers and customers to enjoy!
Average Salary: $12.79/hr
Employee Discount: No store discount, but discounts on other expenses
Much like Home Depot, Lowe’s makes sure that its employees are taken care of! The benefits package and extra perks are the main event in this company, followed by compensation and culture. Along with generous benefits for full and part-time employees alike, Lowe’s also offers adoption assistance, employee assistance (complete with no-cost counseling and financial help with unforeseen hardships), paid-time-off (including vacation, sick, holiday, and volunteer time), and education support programs (tuition reimbursement and trade skills scholarships). Also, they offer discounts on cell phone plans, car/home insurance, movie theater tickets, vacation packages, and much more! To top it all off, Lowe’s offers fun DIY classes that employees can teach to customers, both adults and kids!
Average Salary: $14.26/hr
Employee Discount: 10% off storewide
If you have a knack for sales and are looking for a way to buy your next dream car, CarMax is worth considering! At this national discount car dealership, employees and their families get $500 off any new or used car and a maximum discount of $3,000 off a car’s retail price if it has been on the lot for more than 14 days! CarMax offers a wide array of benefits, including the typical packages like medical/dental/vision, retirement accounts, life insurance, and paid-time-off (including personal, sick, bereavement, vacation, holiday, military leave, medical leave, jury duty, and parental leave). There’s more! Tuition assistance, adoption assistance, commuter benefits, disaster relief, and a relocation discount program are among even more benefits that CarMax offers to eligible employees.
Average Salary: $15.61/hr (based on commission)
Employee Discount: $500 off cars for employee/family, 20% service/detail fees, 10% off car parts
Discount Tire employees report flexible work hours and a community-driven culture. Picnics, golf tournaments, and charity events are regularly encouraged. Discount Tire provides decent benefits (health and 401k) for both part-time and full-time employees in addition to the strong people-oriented atmosphere. They also offer scholarships and tuition assistance (rumored to be around $1,000) to school employees. The competitive, above-average pay combined with employee bonuses makes Discount Tire a worthy contender in the retail world. Plus, it never hurts to have an additional discount on wheels and tires!
Average Salary: $13.72/hr
Employee Discount: 30% off sticker price and free labor
If you excel in the technological world, then working at Best Buy is a great option for you! In addition to being around the new, up-and-coming products, Best Buy offers generous coverage for physical and mental wellness, as well as PTO, adoption assistance, tuition assistance and discounts, auto/home/renters/pet insurance, commuter benefits, and even identity protection. If you can work your way up to corporate, then access to gyms, dry-cleaning, childcare, and coffee shops can be added to the perks, too! Fun fact: Best Buy offers photography workshops that employees can teach, so consider applying if you like to take pictures on the side!
Average Salary: $13.38/hr
Employee Discount: 10% off certain brands/products
Hobby Lobby is the crafter’s paradise! If you enjoy home décor and DIY projects, Hobby Lobby is the place to be! The company offers good benefits, including PTO, health insurance, and life insurance for full-time workers. The store is always closed on Sunday, so you are guaranteed to have at least one day off a week! Though the holidays and weekends can get a bit crazy, Hobby Lobby has a friendly and personable culture between staff members, despite the quick-paced atmosphere. Their above-average salary is nothing to sneeze at, either!
Average Salary: $14.27/hr
Employee Discount: 15% off (but use the weekly 40% off coupon on regularly-priced purchases!)
Barnes and Noble seems to have a laid-back and quiet environment, which would do a perfect job for a bookworm looking for a low-stress position. Coworkers are usually close and cultivate friendships, making the long shifts bearable and fun. Also, the bookstores have famous writers come in for signings sometimes, so there may be an opportunity to meet a minor celebrity! Though the pay and benefits aren’t top-notch (but there is a tuition reimbursement program), the discounts are what attract a lot of employees. So, if you want to add to your library at a reasonable price (and wouldn’t mind half-priced coffee in the meantime), give Barnes and Noble ago!
Average Salary: $11.13/hr
Employee Discount: 30% merchandise, 50% off Café items
BLICK, an art supplies chain, is a fun place to work if you are a fan of the art scene and enjoy interacting with quirky customers! This company offers decent basic benefits; however, employees report a generous lunch break and some incentive bonus plans. Also, the discount for employees is generous, so if you are a design student or an artsy hobbyist, working at BLICK may save you more money for your projects and earn you a respectable salary in the process!
Average Salary: $15.49/hr
Employee Discount: 30% off
What could be more fun than making stuffed animals all day? Of course, there is a lot more to the job than just this, but Build-A-Bear is a fun and light-hearted place to work for people of all ages! This company contributes to an enjoyable work dynamic with an annual associate appreciation month, paid birthday time-off, and even bring-your-dog-to-work days! They offer generous benefits, complete with a 24/7 nurse line, health insurance, tuition assistance, PTO, and flexible schedules. Of course, if you can work your way up to corporate, benefits become even better! Concierge services, such as massage therapists, chiropractors, and oil changes, are offered when you climb your way up the ladder!
Average Salary: $13.53/hr
Employee Discount: 30% off for employees and family
The Disney Store – the most magical retailer on earth! If you’re a kid at heart or a Disney fanatic, consider applying here! The salary is nothing too fancy, but the perks and atmosphere are what draw employees in. According to employees (or, as they are called at Disney, Cast Members), they offer solid benefits. Though Disney is a stickler for keeping their perks under wraps, Cast Members stress that it is the best part of the job. It has been rumored that there are 50% off merchandise discounts and complementary/discounted Disney theme park tickets, and access to Disney media. However, none of this can be confirmed by the Disney website itself.
Average Salary: $12.16/hr
Employee Discount: 50% off
It’s the online retailer that everyone knows! Prime membership benefits and free 2-day shipping are among the perks for customers, but what about the employees? For both full and part-time workers, Amazon offers an extensive benefits package, 24/7 assistance to ensure a work-life balance at select locations (child/elder care, mental health, financial planning, free employee assistance, and children with developmental disabilities online assistance). Amazon also prepays 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a future career at Amazon, making it the leading retail company tuition reimbursement program. Amazon even has bring-your-dog-to-work-day at select locations, encouraging the Amazon team to boost morale and positive work culture every day!
Average Salary: $16.72/hr
Employee Discount: 10% off up to $1,000
Wayfair is an e-commerce company that sells home goods and furniture, and it is a great company to work for! According to reviews on Glassdoor, Wayfair offers top-notch benefits packages, including health insurance, PTO (even unlimited vacation days for managers!), commuter discounts, and gym discounts. The company offers many work-from-home positions since it is an online-based business. However, if you want to be out and about, there are warehouses and corporate offices to work at, too. Tuition assistance, rumored at $5,000 a year, is also offered to eligible employees. The company encourages growth by offering classes to help employees work their way up the ladder and continue professional development. There are even frequent raffles that employees can enter to add a little bit of fun to the work environment!
Average Salary: $16.35/hr
Employee Discount: 60% to 70% off on all services and products for staff
Please keep in mind, these are only a select few retail chains that are exceptional places to consider working. Check with your local shops and businesses, too. There are many other positions with great employee perks in other, lesser-known companies! Wherever your passions lie, there is a place in the retail world for you!
Get your resume ready, research questions common to your desired position, and learn about the company you aspire to become a part of! By following these simple preparation tips, you will go a long way in the interview process. As always, be yourself and be professional.
If you have worked at any of these retail jobs, let us know in the comments down below!
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