Wal-Mart Vs. Costco: How Do They Really Compare?

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This article was written by Claire Gordon and originally appeared on AOL Jobs .

Every villain needs a hero, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT ) and Costco Wholesale Corporation ( COST ) have become the dark lord and white knight of low-budget retail. In recent months, Wal-Mart has been criticized for allegedly underpaying and mistreating its employees, while Costco has been lauded as a kind of corporate Dumbledore, nurturing its workers, and fighting to make the world a kinder and more affordable place.

So how do the country's two biggest retailers really fare head-to-head? Check out the breakdown below.

Average Cashier Salary
Wal-Mart: $8.53 [ Glassdoor ]
Costco: $15.60 [ Glassdoor ]

Average Pay for Low-Level Managerial Position
Wal-Mart: $44,774 [Glassdoor, assistant store manager]
Costco: $53,956 [Glassdoor, supervisor]

Number Of Employees Receiving Health Insurance Coverage
Wal-Mart: "More than half" of employees. [ Businessweek ]
Costco: 88% of employees. [ Businessweek ]

Turnover Rate
Wal-Mart: 37% [ self-reported ]
Costco: 24% [ InvestorPlace ]

Position on the Minimum Wage
Wal-Mart: Supported raising the federal minimum wage in 2006, but has remained mum in the recent debate. [ NBC News ]
Costco: Supports raising the federal minimum wage to over $10-an-hour. CEO Craig Jelinek wrote a letter urging Congress to do so. [ The Huffington Post ]

Percent of Workforce That Is Unionized
Walmart: 0 [ Reuters ]
Costco: 15 [ Businessweek ]

Opportunity for Advancement:
Wal-Mart: "Nearly three-quarters of our store management teams started out in hourly positions." [ The Huffington Post ]
Costco: 70% of warehouse managers allegedly started as cart-pushers and cashiers. On principle, the retailer doesn't hire business school graduates, and instead sponsors its lower-level employees through graduate school. [ Businessweek ]

CEO Compensation (2012)
Wal-Mart: $19.3 million ($1.3 million salary, $4.4 million bonus, $13.6 million in stock grants) [ Businessweek ]
Costco: $4.9 million ($650,000 salary, $200,000 bonus, around $4 million in stock options) [ Businessweek ]

Most Recent Quarterly Year Over Year Earnings
Wal-Mart: Up 1.1% [ Wall Street Journal ]
Costco: Up 19% [ NBC News ]

Also on AOL Jobs:

More Than 50% of Americans Are Not Working: Infographic


What an Ex-Google Intern Thinks of 'The Internship'

Required to 'Friend' the Boss? More States Say No




The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: COST , WMT

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