business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB reported yesterday that retailers continued to have strong representation on this year’s Fortune “Best Companies To Work For” list, with Wegmans garnering the number two spot on the list. Other retailers making the list are The Container Store (#6), Whole Foods (#15), Starbucks (#29), Nugget Markets (#33), Nordstrom (#46), Publix (#56), Stew Leonard’s (#58), Men’s Wearhouse (#92), and Ikea US (#96). Other food industry companies making the annual list were JM Smucker (#8), SC Johnson (#10), Valassis (#69), and Wrigley (#95).

However, we made a few accidental omissions.

MNB user Adam Dill wrote:

For food industry companies, you missed General Mills (which was ranked #98). As one of the Top CPG companies, we have made the list again. As an employee of General Mills, I appreciate the commitment they make to listening to employees and addressing the opportunity areas. As many companies have walked away from employee surveys, GMI continues to conduct full surveys every two years. Action plans are put in place to address the areas employees identified needed help and they follow-up to ensure we are making progress against the objectives.

MNB user Jeff Lenard of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) wrote:

There is more than 10 percent representation on Fortune’s “Best Places to Work” list. You omitted two companies: Valero (#3) and QuikTrip (#21).

In addition to its refining operations, Valero also owns and operates more than 1,00 convenience stores – and manages a branded dealer and jobber network of another nearly 2,000 stores -- under brand names including Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar and Beacon.

QuikTrip operates more than 400 convenience stores and has been on Fortune’s list each of the past four years.

The folks at NACS were all over our case yesterday, as the organization’s Elizabethe Bogart wrote:

I hope you adjust not only you numbers, but your understanding of c-stores. With nearly 140,000 retail locations in the US, we serve every community and employ over 1.4 million people.

You’re right. We goofed. And we apologize to the good folks at General Mills, Valero and QuikTrip.

We also got an email from MNB user Phyllis Palmer:

Thanks for mentioning SC Johnson in your article on the Fortune piece. Interesting on the “What makes it so great? part on the Fortune website:

“They just won't budge. The family-owned consumer-products manufacturer has a devoted workforce, witnessed by an incredibly low turnover rate of 2%. Part of the reason: profit-sharing that added 19% to pay last year.”

This is really true. I’ve been with SCJ for 20 years, my boss has 39 years, almost all my peers in the West have at least 15+. It’s a very interesting and rare situation. That said, “they won’t budge” ALSO means we won’t move…. which in itself presents another issue for our company when the rare job opening DOES come up. Very fascinating concern and commentary on our generation vs. our daddy’s generation’s views on family life. More / most of us are reluctant to uproot our families. The “voluntary turnover” mentioned in the article usually means, someone left the company instead of having to move vs. someone left the company because of negative circumstance.

KC's View: