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    Grocers Once More Among Fortune’s Top Companies to Work For

    Wegmans, Whole Foods, Nugget and Publix included in list

    Fortune has released its annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and once more, grocery operators have made the cut.

    The highest-ranked, at No. 4, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets was chosen because it’s “made employee health a religion: More than 2,000 workers have enrolled in a free smoking-cessation program since 2009; this year it opened a new 24/7 health hotline.” This is the grocer’s 15th consecutive appearance on the list since the ranking made its debut in 1998. Last year, Wegmans was No. 3 on the list.

    “The only way to be a great place to shop is to first be a great place to work,” noted CEO Danny Wegman in response to the news. “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.”

    To celebrate the honor, the chain will serve cake to customers and employees at all 79 Wegmans stores on Saturday, Jan. 21, at times selected by individual locations. Signs posted in entryways will inform shoppers when cake will be available.

    Wegmans wasn’t the only grocer to get the nod from Fortune’s editors. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market made No. 32 (No. 24 last year) because “it caps salaries of executives at 19 times the average full-time salary.” Although Woodland, Calif.-based Nugget Market fell from No. 8 last year to No. 34 in 2012, “checkers [still] make $17.71 an hour here, well above the industry average, and health insurance is free even for part-timers if they work at least 24 hours a week.” And No. 78, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc. (No. 67 last year) was recognized for being “the largest employee-owned company in the nation,” where “employees get generous annual stock infusions.”

    Other retailers who appeared on the list included The Container Store, at No. 22, and Starbucks, at No. 73, while Minneapolis-based consumer packaged goods powerhouse General Mills came in at No. 63.
     

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