How Much the 25 Biggest U.S. Retailers Pay Workers — and Their CEOs

African American worker in a hardware store
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The spotlight shines anew on wages in the retail industry with two recent developments.

Amazon announced it would raise its minimum wage to $15, and new federal law requires publicly traded companies to begin reporting the ratio of CEO compensation to the median pay of company employees.

Nearly 16 million people work in the retail trade industry, where the median pay for sales workers is $11.24 an hour, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but many companies already pay at least a bit more for starting wages.

Here’s a look at what major U.S. retailers pay their workers in typical jobs, according to pay reports compiled by the job sites Glassdoor and Indeed. Where available, we have also included how much the CEOs at those companies are compensated — including salary, bonuses and other incentives — and, with the help of a Bloomberg online tracker, how that compensation compares with the median pay for workers. The top retailers are ordered by their 2017 sales volume, moving lowest to highest, based on a ranking by the National Retail Federation.

25. YUM! Brands

jejim / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $17.97 billion; based in Louisville, Kentucky. (You know the company as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Crew members, cashiers and cooks, $8 to $9/hour
  • Shift manager, $29,000/year
  • Assistant manager, $32,000 to $35,000/year
  • Restaurant manager, $38,000 to $41,000/year

CEO pay: $12.4 million, 1,358 times median pay of $9,111/year

24. Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless retail storefront
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $18.89 billion; based in New York

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Solutions specialist (sales rep), $13 to $15/hour
  • Assistant retail store manager, $41,250/year
  • General manager, $60,000/year

CEO pay: $17.9 million, 142 times median pay of $126,623/year

23. Kohl’s

Kohl's store
QualityHD / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $18.90 billion; based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Sales associates and cashiers, $9/hour
  • Department supervisor, $11/hour
  • Area supervisor, $14/hour
  • Assistant store manager, $52,000/year
  • Store manager, $86,000/year

CEO pay: $11.3 million, 1,264 times median pay of $8,976/year

22. Rite Aid

Juan Llauro / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $21.52 billion; based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashier, $9/hour
  • Assistant store manager, $15/hour
  • Pharmacist, $61/hour
  • Store manager, $52,000/year
  • District manager, $79,000/year
  • Pharmacy manager, $126,000/year

CEO pay: $9.3 million, 287 times median pay of $32,471/year

21. Dollar Tree

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $21.91 billion; based in Chesapeake, Virginia

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashier, $8/hour
  • Assistant manager, $11/hour
  • Store manager trainee, $41,300/year
  • Store manager, $45,000/year

CEO pay: $8 million, 747 times median pay of $10,695/year

20. H-E-B

Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $21.94 billion; based in San Antonio, Texas (sometimes referred to as Texas’ favorite supermarket)

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Baggers, $9/hour
  • Cashiers/checkers, $10 to $11/hour
  • Overnight stocker, $12/hour
  • Department manager, $53,600/year
  • Store director, $77,200/year

CEO pay: Not available but the founder’s grandson Charles Butt and family are worth an estimated $10.7 billion by Forbes magazine.

19. Dollar General

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $23.47 billion; based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Sales associate, $8/hour
  • Assistant store manager, $32,000/year
  • Store manager, $40,150/year

CEO pay: $8.8 million, 658 times median pay of $13,387/year

18. Macy’s

Luke.Travel / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $24.76 billion; based in Cincinnati

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Sales associate, $9/hour
  • Beauty adviser, $11/hour
  • Cosmetics counter manager, $15/hour
  • Merchandise team manager, $58,000/year
  • Store manager, $85,000/year

CEO pay: $11 million, 806 times median pay of $13,810/year

17. Aldi

Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $25.86 billion; based in Batavia, Illinois. (Aldi is an abbreviation of its German parent company Albrecht Diskont).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers and retail sales associates, $12.41/hour
  • Shift manager, $17/hour
  • Store manager trainee, $50,000/year
  • Store manager, $70,000/year

Note: Sister company Trader Joe’s pays crew members $13/hour and store managers $57,000/year.

CEO pay: Not available

16. TJX Companies

QualityHD / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $27.40 billion; based in Framingham, Massachusetts. (Store brands include T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods and others).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Sales and merchandise associates and cashiers, $9/hour
  • Merchandise coordinator, $11/hour
  • Assistant store manager, $56,000/year
  • Store manager, $75,000/year

CEO pay: $16.9 million, 1,501 times median pay of $11,243/year

15. Publix Super Markets

Peter Titmuss / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $34.56 billion; based in Lakeland, Florida

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Baggers, $9/hour
  • Clerks, cashiers, stockers, $9 to $10/hour
  • Cake decorator, $12/hour
  • Certified pharmacy technician, $13/hour
  • Assistant produce manager, $45,000/year
  • Deli manager, $54,000/year
  • Grocery manager, $60,000/year
  • Store manager, $81,700/year
  • Pharmacist, $114,00/year
  • Pharmacy manager, $121,000/year

CEO pay: $2.48 million; ratio unavailable

14. McDonald’s

Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $37.64 billion; based in Oak Brook, Illinois

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cooks and cashiers, $8/hour
  • Shift manager, $10/hour
  • Department manager, $11/hour
  • Assistant manager, $31,000 to $33,000/year
  • General manager, $43,000/year

Note: Company-owned stores will start employees at $10/hour, McDonald’s says.

CEO pay: $21.8 million, 3,101 times median pay of $7,017/year

13. Best Buy

a katz / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $38.59 billion; based in Richfield, Minnesota

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Sales associates, $10 to $11/hour
  • Inventory specialists, $11/hour
  • Geek Squad consultation agent, $12/hour
  • General manager, $90,000/year

CEO pay: $16.8 million, 699 times median pay of $23,980/year

12. Apple Stores / iTunes

pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $38.60 billion; based in Cupertino, California

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Customer service advisers, $16/hour
  • Technical service specialist, $17.90/hour
  • Apple Genius, $21/hour

CEO pay: $12.8 million; ratio unavailable

11. Royal Ahold Delhaize USA

Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $43.20 billion; based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (Supermarkets include Stop & Shop, Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Food Lion, Hannaford, and Peapod).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashier, $8 to $9/hour
  • Deli clerk, $10/hour
  • Meat cutter, $28,000/year
  • Bakery manager, $31,000/year
  • Assistant store manager, $47,500/year
  • Store manager, $61,000/year

CEO pay: $1.2 million base salary; ratio unavailable

10. Albertsons Companies

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $59.72 billion; based in Boise, Idaho. (Eighteen grocery banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market and Carrs).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Courtesy clerk, $9/hour
  • Cashier, $10/hour
  • Deli and bakery clerks, $11/hour
  • Store director, $89,000/year
  • Pharmacist, $121,000/year

CEO pay: $2 million base salary; ratio unavailable

9. Lowe’s Companies

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $63.13 billion; based in Mooresville, North Carolina

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Customer service associate, $11/hour
  • Head cashier, $14/hour
  • Department manager, $18/hour
  • Kitchen designer, $42,000/year
  • Assistant store manager, $58,000/year
  • Store manager, $88,000/year

CEO pay: $11.2 million, 469 times median pay of $23,905/year

8. Target

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $71.88 billion; based in Minneapolis

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers, $9/hour
  • Back room, sales and flow team members, $10/hour
  • Team leader, $15/hour
  • Executive team leader, $57,000/year
  • Store manager, $108,000/year

Note: The company says it’s setting starting pay at $11/hour with the goal of raising that to $15/hour by the end of 2020.

CEO pay: $8.4 million, 408 times median pay of $20,581/year

7. CVS Health Corp.

Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $79.54 billion; based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers, $9/hour
  • Shift supervisors, $12/hour
  • Pharmacist, $60/hour
  • Assistant manager, $49,000/year
  • Store manager, $58,000/year

Note: CVS says it plans to raise starting pay to $11/hour.

CEO pay: $12.2 million, 320 times median pay of $38,372/year

6. Walgreens

Helen89 / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $82.75 billion; based in Deerfield, Illinois

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Customer service associate, $9/hour
  • Certified pharmacy techs, $12/hour
  • Pharmacist, $124,749/year
  • Store manager, $65,000/year

CEO pay: $14.7 million; ratio unavailable

5. The Home Depot

Cassiohabib / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $91.91 billion; based in Atlanta

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers, $10/hour
  • Sales associates, $11/hour
  • Department supervisors, $15/hour
  • Store manager, $90,677/year

CEO pay: $11.6 million, 552 times median pay of $21,095/year

4. Costco

Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $93.08 billion; based in Issaquah, Washington

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers and stockers, $13 to $14/hour
  • Certified pharmacy tech, $18/hour
  • Tire installers, $14/hour
  • Meat cutter, $21/hour
  • Supervisor, $26/hour
  • General manager, $111,760/year

Note: The company says its average pay is $22.50/hour.

CEO pay: $6.6 million; ratio unavailable

3. Amazon

Amazon sign
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $102.96 billion, based in Seattle

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Warehouse workers, $13/hour
  • Top-level software development engineer, $116,000/year

Note: Amazon-owned Whole Foods pays $11 to $12/hour for cashiers and produce, bakery, grocery and other specialty team members.

CEO pay: $1.6 million, 59 times the median pay of $28,446/year

2. The Kroger Company

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $115.89 billion; based in Cincinnati. (Operating 2,769 grocery stores under the names Kroger, Smith’s, Ralphs, Food4Less, Fry’s, Fred Meyer and others).

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Cashiers, front-end clerks and courtesy clerks, $8/hour
  • Grocery clerks, $9/hour
  • Store manager, $63,000/year

CEO pay: $11.5 million, 547 times the median pay $21,075/year

1. Walmart

QualityHD / Shutterstock.com

Retail sales: $374.80 billion; based in Bentonville, Arkansas

What typical jobs pay on average:

  • Part-time employees, $10.58/hour
  • Full-time employees, $13.38/hour
  • Department managers, $13/hour
  • Store managers, $101,062/year

Note: Walmart says it’s setting starting pay at $11/hour with an eye toward raising it to $15 by 2020.

CEO pay: $22.8 million, 1,188 times the median pay of $19,177/year

How does your pay compare? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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