Published: 28th Feb 2012

A few years back I was chatting to an American friend about a job interview she had coming up. The job was a shop floor sales assistant at Trader Joes (a fancy supermarket – think Waitrose, but with cowboy flair). At the time I couldn’t understand why she was so excited, why she thought even getting an interview was a great achievement. It sounded like a good job, but she already had a good job in another supermarket. This week I finally figured it out when I read an article by Zeynep Ton in the Harvard Business Review on ‘Why ‘Good Jobs’ Are Good For Retailers’. Ton’s article challenges the received wisdom that retail industry jobs have to be poor quality because of the business model, and one of his exemplars is Trader Joes. The average American cashier makes $19,000 dollars a year. The starting salary at Trader Joe’s is … (To read the full article, subscribe below)