15 of the highest-paid entry-level retail jobs in the US, from ALDI to Patagonia

15 of the highest-paid entry-level retail jobs in the US, from ALDI to Patagonia
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Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard; a Patagonia store
Patagonia continues to top the list of highest-paying retail employers.

  • Retail wages are on the rise as the employers struggle to find and retain workers.
  • Entry-level employees now find jobs on the sales floor that pay more than $17 an hour.
  • Business Insider asked Glassdoor to round up 15 of the highest-paying entry-level retail jobs in the US.

Retail wages are ticking up.

Although the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour (since 2009), fewer and fewer employers can get by without paying at least double that.

A worker would need to earn $17.14 an hour with a 35-hour weekly schedule for 52 weeks in order to meet the US poverty line of $31,200 for a family of four. However, full-time schedules from a single retailer can be difficult to find.

To find out which companies pay the most, Business Insider asked the jobs experts at Glassdoor to share their data from the past year for entry-level sales floor jobs.

Glassdoor’s averages are calculated using hourly wage information submitted by users of the platform between January 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, for sales associates and related roles, like cashiers and retail representatives.

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Companies had to have at least 1,000 employees to be included in the analysis, and all the entries on this list had a minimum of 30 worker-submitted salaries.

Keep reading for a look at 15 of the highest-paying entry-level retail jobs in the US:

15. Smart & Final – $16.95
An aerial view of Smart & Final grocery store on Crenshaw Blvd. in south Los Angeles

The Los Angeles-based grocery chain operates 253 stores across California, Nevada, and Arizona, and employs more than 11,000 associates.

14. ALDI – $17.06
People walk into and out of an Aldi grocery store on a cloudy day in Hyattsville, Maryland. The blue-and-white Aldi logo hangs on a sign above the entrance, while a row of shopping carts sits to the left of the entrance.

Limited-selection grocer ALDI has 2,372 locations across the US, with a dozen more stores opening soon.

13. FedEx Office – $17.09

FedEx Office employees assist customers with more than just shipping boxes — they also offer custom printing options and a selection of office supplies.

12. Pottery Barn – $17.25
Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn is the largest brand in Williams Sonoma’s home furnishings portfolio, with 184 locations and over $3 billion in sales.

10. Living Spaces – $17.56
Celebrity designers pose for a promotional image for furniture retailer Living Spaces.

The California-based home furnishings retailer has 39 locations in the Western US, and prides itself on offering a range of aesthetic options at affordable prices.

9. Trader Joe’s – $17.69
Trader Joe's bag in front of Trader Joe's grocery store sign.
Trader Joe’s bag in front of Trader Joe’s grocery store sign.

From its humble beginnings in Pasadena, California, Trader Joe’s now boasts roughly 500 locations across the US selling a low-cost assortment of private label groceries.

7. (tie) Tory Burch – $17.89
tory burch fragrance

Launched in New York City in 2004, Tory Burch now sells shoes, handbags, accessories and more at 111 retail locations in 35 US states.

7. (tie) Fred Meyer – $17.89
Fred Meyer

Back in 1922, entrepreneur Fred Meyer wanted to offer a one-stop shopping experience. Kroger acquired the business in 1999, and today his namesake company’s cavernous stores carry some 225,000 different products.

5. Buc-ee’s – $18.18
buc-ee's magnets
Buc-ee’s magnets for sale at Buc-ee’s in Terrell, Texas Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Buc-ee’s large format travel centers boast the cleanest restrooms — a must-have for any road trip — and their retail and food operation has attracted legions of fans of the growing brand.

4. IKEA – $18.50
The store was even larger than I was expecting.

The Swedish furniture giant has dozens of US stores where it sells the majority of its products.

3. Costco – $18.57
Costco price tags showing an asterisk fans call the "star of death"
Customers shop for clothing at a Costco store on July 13, 2021 in Novato, California

The wholesale club has more than 600 locations across the US, and employs over 206,000 US workers.

2. REI – $18.88

Founded in 1938, the outdoor lifestyle co-op employs 16,000 people at 181 locations across 41 US states.

1. Patagonia – $21.88

Patagonia topped last year’s list with a $20.04 average wage, which would have remained in the lead even without its $1.84 raise. The outdoor apparel company operates 36 retail stores across 20 US states and is widely considered a top-choice company to work for.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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