HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: Why Good Jobs are Good for Retailers

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by: Zaynep Ton, MIT

Almost one-fifth of American workers have bad jobs. They endure low wages, poor benefits, schedules that change with little—if any—notice, and few opportunities for advancement. The conventional wisdom is that many companies have no choice but to offer bad jobs—especially retailers whose business models entail competing on low prices. If retailers invest more in employees, customers will have to pay more, the assumption goes. Indeed, it is easy to conclude that employee friendly Wegmans and the Container Store can offer great jobs only because their customers are willing to pay higher prices.

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