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Wegmans Leads Supermarkets in Fortune 100

NEW YORK — Four supermarket retailers led by Wegmans Food Markets were named to the annual list of the 100 best companies to work for published by Fortune magazine.

Wegmans, Rochester, N.Y., ranked No. 4 on the list. Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, was No. 32; Nugget Market, Woodland, Calif., ranked No. 34; and Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets was No. 78. Tulsa-based convenience chain QuikTrip ranked No. 66. Google was No. 1.

Wegmans has appeared in the Fortune 100 list for 15 consecutive years and ranked in the top five for eight consecutive years. It was ranked No. 3 in 2010 and 2011 and No. 1 in 2005. This year’s list cited Wegmans for providing coupons for employees as a holiday gift and for encouraging a “work-life” balance.

“The only way to be a great place to shop is to first be a great place to work,” Danny Wegman, chief executive officer of Wegmans, said in a statement. “When I visit our stores I see how our employees care about each other and about our customers. Because of our people, we have been able to grow our business without compromising our values.”

Wegmans employs around 42,000 workers and realized 5% job growth in 2011, Fortune said.
Whole Foods ranked No. 24 last year. It grew jobs by 6% in 2011 and was lauded for a policy to cap executive salaries at 19 times of the average full-time salary. The company employs around 60,000 and saw 7% job turnover last year.

Nugget Market was lauded for paying checkers $17.71 per hour, and for providing free health insurance for employees who work at least 24 hours per week. It was ranked No. 8 last year but slid as a result of a lower score in the “Trust Index” drawn from employee interviews, Fortune said. Nugget employs 1,110 workers and saw jobs grow by 8% in 2011.

Whole Foods and Nugget were among 14 companies on the Fortune 100 list cited for “best benefits.” Both companies pay 100% of their employees’ health care premiums.

Publix was ranked No. 67 a year ago. With 147,000 employees, it’s the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. and one of the most stable. Its 3% annual turnover rate ranked behind only SAS Institute and Intel (both with 2% turnover) among Fortune 100 companies.  Jobs at Publix grew by 1% during the year. Publix was also recognized for offering low rates on daycare for employees’ children.

Other retailers included REI (ranked No. 8), Zappos (10), The Container Store (22), Men’s Wearhouse (55), Nordstrom (61), convenience store chain QuikTrip (66), Starbucks (73) and CarMax (91). CPG company General Mills ranked No. 63.

The ranking is based on employee surveys and a “culture audit” conducted by Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute.

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