They're being called 'Walmart's worst nightmare,' and I really hope it comes true.

Meet WinCo, a retail chain with just under a hundred stores in eight states. They're growing fast and somehow manage to undercut Walmart's "always low prices."

Compared to Walmart's more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. alone, perhaps it's a little premature to call them "Walmart's worst nightmare." But hopefully we can all agree it wouldn't be such a bad thing for Walmart to lose more business to a company like this.


Here are four ways WinCo is crushing Walmart:

1. Customer Satisfaction

WinCo: Smart business model makes for low prices and good customer experience.

Walmart: Tops the list of retailers with THE WORST customer satisfaction ratings.

Walmart keeps prices low, in part, by systematically understaffing their stores. So if you've ever wondered what's up with those empty shelves in your local Wally World, there's your answer.

2. Wages

WinCo: Employee pay starting around $11 per hour.

Walmart: Employee pay starting around $8 per hour.

Walmart's absurdly low wages cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year in public assistance for their workers (food stamps, Medicaid, housing subsidies, etc.).

Meanwhile, the company also profits from taxpayers by using a loophole that allows their executives to take home millions of dollars on top of their salaries. Walmart is exploiting its workers so badly that even investors think they deserve a raise.

3. Benefits

WinCo: Health benefits and pensions for employees working 24+ hours per week.

Walmart: Cutting health insurance for employees working less than 30 hours per week.

Despite billions in profits and redonkulous executive pay packages, Walmart is kicking thousands of part-time workers off their health plan. Those who remain eligible for Walmart's health coverage are paying a lot more out of pocket. Suffice it to say their workers are not happy.

4. Ownership

WinCo: Employee-owned through stock ownership program.

Walmart: More than half-owned by one of the world's richest families.

WinCo's employee stock ownership program makes the interests of the company and its employees one and the same. Their people work harder and stick around for longer because the success of the company means success (and retirement) for them.

Between employee stock ownership and 401(k) plans, hundreds of WinCo workers now have retirement savings of over $1 million.

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.