In the war for retail talent during the pandemic, Costco Wholesale put its money where its mouth is. Already a leader in incentives like paid sick days, Costco in February raised the internal minimum wage for its 200,000-plus–person workforce to $16, keeping the pressure on competitors to pay their own workers more. Not long afterward, Amazon and Walmart each gave raises to hundreds of thousands of their workers. Costco’s reward for its efforts: double-digit percentage increases in sales—long after pandemic panic-buying eased—and customers as loyal as ever.
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