REI ranks highest in employee satisfaction

Overstock.com has lost favor with employees since last year, says Glassdoor.

Stefany Zaroban

Recreational Equipment Inc. is the highest-rated retailer among company employees, according to a new study by online career information site Glassdoor.com.

With a rating of 4.0 on a five-point scale, REI, No. 62 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, jumped 0.5 points this year.

For its 2011 Retail Industry Report Card, Glassdoor measured nearly 20,000 reviews shared anonymously on its site by retailer employees. A Glassdoor spokeswoman says retail managers sometimes will ask their employees to fill out reviews on Glassdoor.com, while other times employees fill out reviews on their own. In the Report Card, Glassdoor includes retailers with at least 20 approved reviews posted over the course of a year.

J. Crew Group Inc. is the second highest-rated retailer with a score of 3.9 and Wayfair.com, the recently launched brand for CSN Stores LLC, is third with a rating of 3.8. Wayfair.com is also the biggest gainer this year, with a 1.4 point jump from a 2.4 rating last year. Costco Wholesale Corp., with a rating of 3.1, and J. Crew were tied for the second biggest gains, as they each jumped 0.5 points since last year.

Meanwhile, Office Depot Inc. experienced the biggest decline in overall company rating—the company holds a 2.7 rating, down from a 3.6 rating last year. Overstock.com, the highest-rated retailer in 2010, holds a 3.2 rating, down from a 4.0 rating last year.

Also, Overstock’s CEO Patrick Byrne experienced the largest drop in approval ratings among employees this year, as Byrne now holds a 56% approval rating, down 37 points from 93% last year.

Retail CEOs who experienced the largest jump in approval rating among employees include Wayfair’s CEO Niraj Shah, who holds a 97% approval rating this year, up 45 points from last year. Tied for second, each with an 18-point increase over last year, are the CEO for Wal-Mart subsidiary Sam’s Club, Brian C. Cornell, with a 64% approval rating and Pier 1 Imports CEO Alex Smith, with a 66% rating.

Among web-only retailers included in the study, Overstock held the lead with 3.2 points overall, while Amazon.com Inc. and eBay were tied for second with a 3.0 rating. Netflix Inc. scored 2.8 points.

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos held an 82% approval rating (down 2 points since last year) among employees, while eBay’s CEO John Donahoe held 64% (a 21-point jump) and Netflix’s CEO Reed Hasting stood at 63% (down five points).

Nordstrom is No. 34 in the Top 500  Guide, Wayfair No. 51, Costco No. 16, J. Crew No. 50, Office Depot No. 5, Overstock No. 27, Netflix No. 13 and Amazon No. 1.


Alex Smith, Brian Cornell, Costco, CSN Stores, employee satisfaction, Glassdoor, J. Crew, John Donahoe, Netflix, Niraj Shah, Office Depot, Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, Reed Hasting, REI