Walmart vs. Costco: How Do They Really Compare?
Every villain needs a hero, and Walmart and Costco have become the dark lord and white knight of low-budget retail. In recent months, Walmart has been criticized for allegedly underpaying and mistreating its employees, while Costco has been lauded as a kind of corporate Dumbledore, nurturing its workers, and fighting to make the world a kinder and more affordable place.
So how do the country's two biggest retailers really fare head-to-head? Check out the breakdown below.
Average Cashier Salary
Average Pay For Low-Level Managerial Position
Number Of Employees Receiving Health Insurance Coverage
Walmart: "more than half" of employees
Costco: 88% of employees
Position On The Minimum Wage
Walmart: Supported raising the federal minimum wage in 2006, but has remained mum in the recent debate.
Costco: Supports raising the federal minimum wage to over $10-an-hour. CEO Craig Jelinek wrote a letter urging Congress to do so.
Percent Of Workforce That Is Unionized
Opportunity For Advancement:
Walmart: "Nearly three-quarters of our store management teams started out in hourly positions."
Costco: 70% of warehouse managers allegedly started as cart-pushers and cashiers. On principle, the retailer doesn't hire business school graduates, and instead sponsors its lower-level employees through graduate school.
CEO Compensation (2012)
Walmart: $19.3 million ($1.3 million salary, $4.4 million bonus, $13.6 million in stock grants)
Costco: $4.9 million ($650,000 salary, $200,000 bonus, around $4 million in stock options)
Most Recent Quarterly Year Over Year Earnings
Walmart: Up 1.1%
Costco: Up 19%
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