Walmart defends its poor labor practices as necessary to keep prices down. But as Walmart’s sales dropped with its payrolls, other retailers have proven that treating workers well is not mutually exclusive to a good deal. Walmart’s competitor, Costco, offers its employees an average wage of $21.96 an hour, about 40 percent more than Walmart employees make. Costco enjoyed a 19 percent increase in profits last quarter as Walmart sank, generating much more revenue and profit per worker. WinCo, a smaller grocery chain based in Idaho, boasts full health benefits for anyone working over 24 hours a week and retirement accounts for more than 400 workers — while maintaining prices even lower than Walmart’s.