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Why Costco won’t have a problem with California’s $15 minimum wage

BY Marianne Wilson

In a history-making move that would have a direct impact on the retail industry and food service sector, the state of California has moved closer to raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.
 
But the increase, which would give California the highest minimum wage of any state in the nation, won’t have much much of a financial impact on Costco Wholesale Corp., according to The Street. That’s because the retailer already pays its workers well above the average. In fact, the average hourly wage for a Costco worker in California is already $22.50.

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Amazon to add yet another center to sprawling distribution network

BY Dan Berthiaume

A few days after announcing a new fulfillment center in Edgerton, Kansas, Amazon.com is unveiling plans for another new center that will serve customers a little further west.
 
Amazon plans to open a seventh California fulfillment center in San Bernardino, where the company launched its first Golden State fulfillment center in the state in 2012. The retailer currently employs more than 12,000 full-time hourly associates at its six existing California locations and says it will hire more than 1,000 full-time employees in the new San Bernardino facility.

Employees at the 1.1 million-square-foot San Bernardino fulfillment center will pick, pack, and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys.

“San Bernardino has proven to be an important part of Amazon’s growth in California, and we are proud to continue creating jobs and helping support the economy here in the Inland Empire,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s VP of North American operations. “Over the past three and a half years, we have built a network of top-notch fulfillment centers across the state.”

Outside of San Bernardino, Amazon’s other California fulfillment centers are located in Tracy, Patterson, Moreno Valley, Redlands and Rialto. Amazon reportedly operates nearly 100 fulfillment centers across the U.S.

“We are excited Amazon continues to view San Bernardino as a great place to do business and we’re proud to be part of Amazon’s history and future,” said Mayor R. Carey Davis of San Bernardino. “The company continues hosting a robust public tours program, donating needed items and volunteer hours to local charities, and supporting local businesses on a regular basis.”

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Dollarama names founder’s son as new CEO as sales surge

BY Gina Acosta

Canada's leading value chain has promoted its head merchant to be the new CEO as the company logs another quarter of impressive sales growth.

Dollarama Inc. has appointed Neil Rossy as president and CEO, effective May 1, 2016. Company founder and current CEO Larry Rossy will continue to play an active role in key areas of Dollarama's business as executive chairman.

"Neil is an experienced retail executive with an intimate knowledge of all company operations, and is respected by his colleagues," said Stephen Gunn, lead director of Dollarama's board. " The board has full confidence in Neil's ability to lead Dollarama's growth in the coming years with the support of the strong team in place."

Neil Rossy, 46, is currently chief merchandising officer and a member of the board since 2004. 

The company also reported an increase in sales, net earnings and earnings per share for the fourth quarter Jan. 31. Compared to the prior year quarter, sales increased by 14.6% to $766.5 million. Same store sales grew 7.9%. Operating income grew 25.6% to $176.9 million , or 23.1% of sales, compared to 21.1% of sales. And diluted net earnings per common share increased by 31.6%.

The corporation opened 25 net new stores during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 compared to 27 net new stores during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

"Looking at the fourth quarter in particular, we enjoyed a good holiday period with ideal weather conditions and a strong customer response to our seasonal assortment," said Larry Rossy. "In addition, we made select changes to our product mix and prices, and we expect these initiatives to help us manage currency headwinds and drive our performance in Fiscal 2017. We are also seeing more pricing flexibility from suppliers in China due to a softer demand environment, and this should also help in offsetting the weakness of the Canadian dollar this year."

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