If you'd like to work in a retail environment where employees feel appreciated and motivated, some of the companies on the AJC's 2016 Top Workplaces list might be worth a look. These five retailers earned top marks from their employees to land a spot as one of the best 150 Atlanta employers.
1. AmericasMart Atlanta (228 local employees)
240 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.
AmericasMart Atlanta has a longtime reputation as the nation's leading gift, home furnishings, apparel and area rug marketplace. Customers find more merchandise inside AmericasMart's doors than anywhere else, with items gathered from around the globe.
"AMC is a unique environment that encourages all employees to strive for their best," said one employee during the survey. Others echoed that belief with comments such as, "I work with a team of people who appreciate my work and on whom I can depend to make the right decisions" as well as, "It's truly a place to belong and become!"
2. CarMax (1,655 local employees in seven metro locations)
More than 20 years ago, the founders of CarMax set out to change the way used car sales are done by offering customers an honest, transparent experience. They do it by offering a no-haggle, no-hassle experience and a huge selection of CarMax quality certified vehicles. They also provide fast, commitment-free appraisals – CarMax will buy your car, even if you don't buy theirs.
The company strives to be a welcoming, energetic workplace focusing on respect, wellness and development opportunities for staff. The combination must be working: Although 2016 is the first time CarMax has been on Atlanta's Top Workplaces list, it has been part of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 11 consecutive years.
3. Milton Martin Honda (87 employees)
2420 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.
Milton Martin Honda radio ads are commonplace in Atlanta, with a conversational spokesperson who sounds like a friend from next door. That down-to-earth attitude shows again on the company's website, where the opening welcome sentence is, "Our goal is to make your car buying experience the best possible."
The Gainesville car dealer must have a good approach to satisfying employees as well as customers. Comments on the survey such as, "I'm empowered to do my job," "I love the family culture and opportunities," and "I have the ability to make a difference in other people's lives," reveal that employees feel appreciated and rewarded. That's probably why they've been one of Atlanta's Top Workplaces for the past three years.
4. RaceTrac Petroleum (1,699 employees)
Since opening in 1934, Atlanta-based RaceTrac has grown to include more than 400 retail gasoline convenience stores in four southeastern states. A standard RaceTrac features 20-24 fueling positions and a store with more than 4,000 products including fresh food, drinks and convenience store staples.
Company management works to nurture a culture of trust, doing the right thing and approaching all decisions with a bottom-up mindset. That perspective could be part of why RaceTrac has been on Atlanta's Top Workplaces list for six consecutive years.
"It promotes a fun, relaxed atmosphere while succeeding in motivating employees to give their best," one employee said on the survey. "I never expected to be given the freedom to really get creative with how I can impact the business," said another.
5. The Container Store (90 local employees in two Atlanta locations)
Some people didn't understand the concept behind The Container Store when the first location opened in 1978. But the little Texas shop sold more than empty boxes; it worked hard to help people simplify their lives.
Today, the business remains the industry leader in storage, with an innovative product mix, a unique corporate culture and top-notch employees who provide a level of service that's second to none. The company is dedicated to helping customers get organized, helping them save space and, ultimately, valuable time. And that's something any of us can use more of.
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