Americans Are Shopping More at Places That Treated Employees Well During COVID

Susan-Chiang /

A recent study by Invisibly found that consumers were more motivated to shop at stores that supported employees by providing extra pay during the pandemic.

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In the age of social media, a company’s image is everything. And during the pandemic, many reports came out about how much or little companies were doing to help and support their employees during this health and economic crisis.

A recent values-driven study conducted by Invisibly revealed that consumers are much more likely to support brands that treat their employees well.

“I think we are witnessing a shift in care for employee wellbeing that is transcending the pandemic,” said Dr. Don Vaughn, head of product at Invisibly. This report found that 72% of consumers are more likely to shop at a store that paid its employees extra during the pandemic, while 71% are more likely to support stores that pay their employees a minimum wage of $16 per hour instead of $12 per hour.

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With company policies and COVID responses at the fingertips of nearly everyone in today’s digital age, transparency of employee policies and salaries seems inevitable.

“There is a trend towards increasing wage transparency,” Dr. Vaughn told GOBankingRates. “Sites like Glassdoor and Payscale provide salary data for many companies. It’s also become more popular for stores that pay their employees higher wages to advertise this to consumers as they walk in, using signage about paying a living wage.”

Generational differences and age were also found to play a role in how much a company’s treatment of employees during COVID-19 mattered to consumers. Gen Z was found to highly value how companies handled the pandemic last year, moreso than other generations, with 35% of respondents under age 18 and 33% of respondents ages 18 to 24 revealing they would be more willing to shop at a company that paid employees extra during the pandemic.

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“Many movements for social change are led by younger demographics,” said Dr. Vaughn. “However, we found that all age groups were broadly more likely to shop at stores that better-compensated their employees; in fact older cohorts were slightly more likely to do so than the younger ones.”

Overall, this report found that price and availability were still the leading motivations behind shopping with a particular brand, but treatment of employees is becoming more important, particularly to younger generations.

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About the Author

Courtney Johnston is an Indianapolis-based freelance writer with an emphasis on finance and small business. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, Investopedia, Fundera, JoyWallet, The Chicago Tribune, and Benzinga. She's passionate about personal finance and loves talking about money at
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