retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Fortune is out with its annual list of the nation’s best places to work, and among the top 100 are the following food and retailing companies:

5. Wegmans
10. Nugget Market
22. Whole Foods
24. Starbucks
32. The Container Store
53. Stew Leonard’s
72. Nordstrom
81. SC Johnson & Co.
88. Publix Super Markets
99. General Mills

Number one is NetApp, an Internet company.

The premise of the list each year is that these companies treat their employees as their primary constituency, feeling that if staffers are treated well they will take better care of customers.

In the case of NetApp, the company’s greatness is described thus:

“Employee enthusiasm for the legendary egalitarian culture helped catapult NetApp to No. 1 after six years on our list.

“Typical of its down-to-earth management ethos, NetApp early on ditched a travel policy a dozen ­pages long in favor of this maxim: ‘We are a frugal company. But don't show up dog-tired to save a few bucks. Use your common sense.’ Rather than business plans, many units write ‘future histories,’ imagining where their business will be a year or two out.

“And the benefits are tops: five paid days for volunteer work, $11,390 adoption aid, and autism coverage -- used by 43 employees since 2006 at a cost of $242,452. The company has gained market share during the slump, hasn't had layoffs, and has more than $2 billion in cash on hand to help it ride out the global financial crisis.”

KC's View:
Interesting note: Of the 100 companies on the list, 73 are hiring, even in the current climate.

Coincidence? I think not.