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The 20 Best Workplaces in Retail

November 7, 2017, 12:00 PM UTC

A job in retail can be difficult work (whether it’s because of the customers, or because the customers wound up shopping online). But these 20 companies got rave reviews from their staff, who praise teams that are “like family,” supportive work environments, and plenty of opportunities for advancement. For our annual ranking of the Best Workplaces in Retail, Fortune partner Great Place to Work crunched the numbers and surveyed thousands of employees to bring you this list of the retail workplaces that employees love.

1. Wegmans Food Markets

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Wegmans
Rich Schaub

Number of employees: 47,084
Industry vertical: Food/grocery, specialty
Headquarters: Rochester, N.Y.
Number of locations: 122
Revenue: $8.5B

Employees say:

“Wegmans is genuinely welcoming to a diverse population of employees. It makes a concerted effort to employ older workers, which is refreshing. There is a sincere atmosphere of giving back to the community throughout the company.”

“What I find unique about Wegmans is the longevity of many employees’ careers. I feel there are not many companies where you can start as a teenager, continue in college, work as an intern in a variety of departments, and ultimately make it into a full-time career. Employees feel safe and satisfied, but still challenged. We also have the ability to work in a variety of roles throughout our careers and we don’t have to leave the company to do so.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

2. QuikTrip

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-QuikTrip
Courtesy of QuikTrip

Number of employees: 20,460
Industry vertical: Food/grocery
Headquarters: Tulsa, Okla.
Number of locations: 779
Revenue: $10.2M

Employees say:

“The company is constantly asking the employees how to improve the stores and makes changes based on the feedback. This gives employees the feeling that QuikTrip cares about them. QuikTrip takes care of the employees, who, in turn, take care of the customers.”

“QuikTrip creates a family-like atmosphere among co-workers better than any business I have ever seen.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

3. Publix Super Markets

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Publix Market
Photograph by Patrick James Miller for Fortune Magazine

Number of employees: 189,607
Industry vertical: Food/grocery
Headquarters: Lakeland, Fla.
Number of locations: 1,170
Revenue: $34B

Employees say:

“Publix promotes from within and takes great care in training employees. There are high standards here and we’re always pushed to do things to the best of our ability.”

“I would say the most unique thing about working at Publix is all the possible career paths that you can take in the company. If you do not like the job position or the warehouse you are working in, you are very easily able to request a different position or shuffle to another warehouse and keep your same position. Other companies have very little opportunities to advance, but at Publix, the sky is the limit.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

4. Build-A-Bear Workshop

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Build A Bear
Inti St. Clair

Number of employees: 3,399
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: St. Louis
Number of locations: 281
Revenue: $364.2M

Employees say:

“This company is awesome to work for because you are able to be a part of your guest’s life experiences. You get to put the smiles on the faces of grown-ups and children alike.”

“Build-A-Bear Workshop actually listens to employees. We provide weekly feedback and issues are fixed the best way the company can.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

5. CarMax

Courtesy of CarMax
Courtesy of CarMax

Number of employees: 24,606
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: Richmond, Va.
Number of locations: 180
Revenue: $15.8B

Employees say:

“We have amazing systems in place to hire great talent, train new-hires, and grow tenured employees. CarMax never stops looking for ways to improve, and this holds true from how we choose to run our business to how we constantly develop people.”

“The atmosphere from top to bottom is amazing! From upper management down, everyone strives to make this a great place to work. It is refreshing to see that management has a distinct goal and plan for us. It is very clear how the plan benefits us as employees and our customers. I love coming to work. We are expected to be ourselves and are seen as individuals and not just a replaceable number.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

6. Nugget Market

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Nugget Market
Courtesy of Nugget Market, Inc.

Number of employees: 1,907
Industry vertical: Food/grocery
Headquarters: Woodland, Calif.
Number of locations: 19

Employees say:

“This company really pushes having fun. As a manager I get to encourage my team to laugh and joke with each other. This creates such positive vibes and really pushes everyone to do that little bit extra.”

“We are empowered on day one to take care of our guests. We do not have to ask permission to replace a product or reduce an item in order to fulfill a guests need’s. We all submit ideas that we have to help make our company better. No matter who you are, your idea is considered, and often rewarded if implemented.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

7. Sheetz

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Sheetz
Courtesy of Sheetz

Number of employees: 15,765
Industry vertical: Food/grocery
Headquarters: Alttona, Pa.
Number of locations: 569

Employees say:

“Since I am a college student, this is a great place for me to work. Sheetz is very flexible with my school schedule. Also, they offer tuition reimbursement which is extremely helpful.”

“Sheetz shares its profits by giving quarterly bonuses to all eligible employees and by enrolling us into the employee stock ownership program. We also have celebrations for employees like Sheetz Fest for everyone to celebrate their work anniversary and company holiday parties for employees and their families.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

8. REI

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-REI
Courtesy of REI

Number of employees: 12,973
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: Kent, Wash.
Number of locations: 159
Revenue: $2.6B

Employees say:

“REI engages in conversations around gender and diversity in a way that feels authentically mission driven rather than purely commercial. These conversations are not just lip service. The co-op has taken many steps to act on those conversations.”

“The value and emphasis placed on balancing work and life at REI is outstanding. The co-op provides incredible opportunities for people to come together and get outside to do the things we love to do. I also appreciate the value placed on employees. I believe that every employee has access to their leaders to make their voices heard. I also believe that every employee is treated with respect regardless of their abilities or contributions. The co-op is an inclusive place above all else and it makes me proud to work for a company that stands behind its employees of all abilities, ages, genders, races, and orientations.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

9. The Wireless Experience

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-The Wireless Experience
Courtesy of The Wireless Experience

Number of employees: 412
Headquarters: Toms River, N.J.
Number of locations: 83
Revenue: $100M

Employees say:

“Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do is still important to the company. We’re a company of integrity and I’m so proud of that. I love the community involvement, like charity 5k races and food drives.”

“This is a very professionally-run organization encompassing many, many, stores. It recognizes each employee as an individual and treats them with respect by listening to their ideas.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

10. SlideBelts

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-SlideBelts
Courtesy of SlideBelts

Number of employees: 30
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Number of locations: 1
Revenue: $6.5M

Employees say:

“We regularly hand out ‘kudos’ to coworkers to recognize them for anything from a positive attitude to assisting someone outside of their duties. There’s a definite team spirit that continues to pervade the organization, even as we grow so quickly.”

“This company makes it fun to come to work. We’re a very strong team that is trained to work perfectly with one another through communication. We have weekly meetings where we’re informed of upcoming events and where team members are praised for what they’ve done and are entered into a drawing to win prizes. Management does an amazing job of keeping everyone involved. Management also really cares about their teams and they always do whatever they can to make it the best environment possible.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

11. Custom Ink

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-CustomInk
Courtesy of CustomInk

Number of employees: 1,575
Industry vertical: Clothing
Headquarters: Fairfax, Va.
Number of locations: 7
Revenue: $300M

Employees say:

“The company is very committed to finding the right person for the job, not necessarily the person with the most qualifications or experience. I’ve never worked for a company that was so engaged in their own values.”

“There is a great deal of consistency between vision, values, and practice. In my experience, it’s rare that a working environment is so congenial, fun, and productive. People at all levels are clear on what’s expected from them and how their efforts feed into the broader goals of the company. As such, I’ve also found that folks are willing to go well out of their way to help or to make something happen.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

12. Wayfair

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Wayfair
Scott Eisen—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Number of employees: 5,637
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: Boston
Number of locations: 18
Revenue: $3.1B

Employees say:

“Wayfair allows you to take risks. You’re encouraged to do so even if you fail. Everyone is also entitled to their own opinions and ideas. Transparency is important, allowing us to be ourselves and work at a level that we’re comfortable with.”

“People are given a tremendous amount of autonomy and responsibility early on. From day one, with no prior experience, I was tasked with developing a new marketing channel, which seems crazy for an inexperienced 24-year-old new hire. However, I was given the support, training, and intellectual freedom to test extensively, and 9 months later this channel is starting to grow into its own. Furthermore, I see lower-level managers, who are also in their twenties, in meetings with tenured, middle-aged representatives from partner organizations, holding their own and even controlling the conversation. From the start, Wayfair gives us the trust, responsibility, and tools to take full ownership of our jobs and our company’s development.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

13. Old Navy

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Old Navy
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Number of employees: 51,619
Industry vertical: Clothing
Headquarters: San Francisco
Number of locations: 959
Revenue: $6.1B

Employees say:

“Empowerment makes us unique in the retail industry. We acknowledge and celebrate innovators and allow leaders to be business owners. We embrace learnings and help people grow professionally and personally.”

“I think Old Navy is a great place to work because it is always trying new things to engage with our teams. It sends out calendars with different activities and treats on certain days. It makes it fun to come to work. It also just rolled out a recognition program around Old Navy cards. Associates who meet certain milestones get a card as a form of recognition. It shows the team that the company appreciates all that they do.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

14. Foot Locker

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Foot Locker
Alamy Stock Photo

Number of employees: 36,021
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: New York City
Number of locations: 2,537
Revenue: $7.8B

Employees say:

“I appreciate the honest communication from management about the company’s goals and how to achieve them. Everyone is essential to the company regardless of what they do. Everyone is an asset and a major contributor to the company in their own way.”

“I love this job because we are challenged non-stop. You have to keep pushing yourself to make sure that you’re at the top of the list every week. This job is unique because you’re not just sitting down 24/7. You’re up and moving around, making sure your customers leave the store having had a great experience.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

15. Nordstrom

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Nordstrom
Vince Talotta—Toronto Star via Getty Images

Number of employees: 66,554
Industry vertical: Clothing
Headquarters: Seattle
Number of locations: 372
Revenue: $14.5B

Employees say:

“I believe the amount of freedom given to us to be able to assist a customer is a unique quality of my job. This freedom of using our best judgment not only helps our customers but it helps me grow personally as well.”

“I very much enjoy the freedom that we are given within the workplace. Although no one is watching over our shoulders, we still have a performance standard that needs to be met. There is an abundance of support that can be given if you need help in certain areas. This allows for growth in both personal and working life.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

16. Patagonia

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Patagonia
Kyle Sparks/Patagonia

Number of employees: 1,423
Industry vertical: Clothing
Headquarters: Ventura, Calif.
Number of locations: 33
Revenue: $950M

Employees say:

“Our environmental and social stewardship increases my pride of working for such a successful company. I trust our upper management to treat us well, treat the environment well, and act as honorable coworkers.”

“Patagonia does everything with integrity. It is not just talk—it is actually how this business is run. The company is always striving to improve and to do less harm and more good. To work for a company with such integrity is pretty special.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

17. Burlington Stores

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Burlington Stores Inc.
Courtesy of Burlington Stores Inc.

Number of employees: 35,565
Industry vertical: Clothing
Headquarters: Burlington, N.J.
Number of locations: 603
Revenue: $5.6B

Employees say:

“The support from the senior leadership team is amazing. Things don’t always go the right way, but when a breakdown occurs, leadership finds ways to support us rather than placing blame.”

“You are enabled to do things outside the box. I have a voice and people care about me and my contributions. There is a lot of opportunity and I have fun. I could not ask for a better place to work.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.


Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Revzilla
Courtesy of Revzilla

Number of employees: 250
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: Philadelphia
Number of locations: 3
Revenue: $120M

Employees say:

“Revzilla adopts a fun culture while simultaneously providing great encouragement to perform well. As an hourly employee, I feel that I play an integral role in the company’s success and that my teammates are equally as vital.”

“The rigorous hiring process RevZilla uses works very well to ensure that only people who are an excellent fit both personally and professionally are hired. You can really count on everyone to be competent at their job and to give their full effort in a way that is uncommon in other workplaces. I think the hiring process, plus having such clear and heavily-referenced core values, is the reason for our success. The core values are also well thought out and specific.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

19. The Container Store

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-The Container Store
Aggie Brooks

Number of employees: 4,185
Industry vertical: Specialty
Headquarters: Coppell, Texas
Number of locations: 88
Revenue: $819.9M

Employees say:

“The transparency that we share with our employees, our customers, our vendors, and even our competitors is rare and honorable.”

“I love the way that we all care about each other. In general, everyone is so invested in each others’ lives. My husband still finds it hard to believe we all like each other so much when he attends store parties. They are my family and I love it.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.

20. Whole Foods Market

Best Workplaces Retail 2017-Whole Foods Market
Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Number of employees: 83,260
Industry vertical: Food/grocery
Headquarters: Austin
Number of locations: 539
Revenue: $15.7B

Employees say:

“I know I’m going to learn something new every day. Not only do I use my newfound knowledge at work, I use it at home too. Whole Foods Market creates an upbeat environment, leaving its employees gratified when they go home at the end of the day.”

“I appreciate that there is a genuine connection to the immediate community as well as to helping those less fortunate in the world. The focus on different foundations gives us a greater sense of purpose as a team member. I greatly appreciate the people I work with as well. The people around me are amazing and it makes coming to work easy. We’re all purpose driven and are willing to help each other when needed.”

Read the Great Place to Work review.