The Motley Fool - Costco is one of the 25 Best Companies in America.
The case for Costco
Costco has been lionized as "the Anti-Walmart" for its long policy of paying all employees a living wage and good benefits, including health coverage. In 2005, The New York Times claimed the average pay for Costco employees was 42% higher than Wal-mart's Sam's Club warehouse.
In 2008, Slate reported that after five years, a cashier makes about $40,000, and that workers pay only about 12% of health care costs out of pocket.
Any kind of job at Costco can also turn into a career thanks to the company's policy of hiring from within.
Wall Street, predictably, hates this. According to them, employees should be paid the least possible so that returns can accrue to shareholders.
In 2004, Deustche Bank analyst Bill Dreher famously complained that at Costco, it's better to be an employee than a shareholder.
Well, if Bill Dreher was a shareholder in 2004, I hope he didn't sell. Between January of 2004 and 2013, Costco shares more than quadrupled market returns, returning 180% to the S&P 500's 40%.
...The Foolish bottom line
Over 30 years, ...Costco has defied Wall Street "wisdom" through generosity to employees and devotion to customers, making investors rich along the way.