Costco was the only traditional retailer to make Glassdoor's list of 2014's Top 25 Companies for Compensation & Benefits, coming in second by a fraction of a point behind Google.
The rankings from the employer-review website were based on an anonymous online survey that asked employees to rate how satisfied they were with their pay and benefits on a scale of one to five.
Around pay, a cashier at Costco makes $15.20 an hour on average based on anonymous reviews provided by former and current Costco employees to Glassdoor. The cashier assistant (apparently the associate who helps bag) earns $11.85 on average.
In both cases, the pay is from 25 to 50 percent higher than Costco's closest competitors. According to Glassdoor's reviews, a cashier at Sam's Club makes $9.37 an hour on average; B.J.'s, $8.58; Walmart, $8.54; and Target, $8.18.
According to a profile of Costco by Bloomberg Businessweek last year, Costco's employees earn $20.89 on average an hour, excluding overtime. Glassdoor stats show that Costco's supervisors across departments earn about $22.00 an hour with some on salary.
Costco's starting pay is $11.50. Its CEO, Craig Jelinek, has loudly supported raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
But Allyson Willoughby, Glassdoor's senior vice president of people, told SmartPlanet that Costco's benefits and perks also stand out. Those include its generous health care plans, profit sharing and 401K plans, free Costco membership, and overtime pay and paid sick time for both full- and part-time employees.
One surprising perk frequently mentioned in Glassdoor's reviews is time-and-a-half pay for working Sundays. Also mentioned is eight paid holidays for full-timers and part-timers with the stores closed seven of those days. Benefits for part-timers start after six months.
Related to pay, reviews noted that annual bonuses arrive when employees work five years. Ten-year employees earn $3,000 bonuses twice a year. Also praised by employees is flexible scheduling and guaranteed hours (25 for part-time and 40 for full-time).
EBay came in at 25 on Glassdoor's list. Ms. Willoughby told SmartPlanet that H-E-B, Wegmans and H&M just missed the top-25 cutoff.
Costco also rated highest among retailers in Glassdoor's 2014 Top-50 Best Places to Work list, at 14. Other retailers making that list included H E B, 27; Publix, 32; Starbucks, 39; Wegmans, 40; and eBay, 49.
Does Costco's high employee satisfaction rating stem more from its pay structure or benefits/perks?