I did the same until 2008, when I had to lay everyone off. I did it because I had good people who deserved the money. Kirk has a stable workforce because he does the same. My best friend prefers the Wal Mart way. He has a few core employees and the rest are transient. He bitches about work quality, torn up equipment, tardiness, no call-no shows, Etc. If you want quality help, you pay for it. You're pretty much proving my point for me.
Your business still went out? Why?
I understand that. I'm more talking about Walmart vs. their main competitor, Costco. Notice the stark contrast:
I've been in both stores and prefer to shop at Costco. The employees are in a better mood and seem to be better quality employees. IMO, I think this is due to their medical benefits (over 90% are covered) and better pay as well as bonus structure. The two companies couldn't be any more different as to how they treat their employees yet Costco is expanding, making billions, etc, etc.
My business went out due to market forces. I ran my own record label and record store prior and during college. My store primarily sold vinyl and cd's to DJ's and electronic music connoisseurs, both brick and mortar, over the phone mail orders, and internet the last few years. The business changed. Late 90's/early 2000's, the majority of the DJ's started going digital only so my record sales plummeted. I still had merch sales of T shirts, bags, etc, as well as pre-sale tickets (like Ticketmaster for electronic music events) but the business started going down when these guys started downloading copyrighted content over the internet. At first there were mp3 sales for the cd turntables, but that quickly gave way to hard drives and laptops, and Serato. And like the record industry as a whole (sales are a fraction of what they used to be) everybody started stealing content. Guys would exchange hard drives and not buy anything or very little. I saw Tower records announcing their closure, Virgin as well, and saw local independent competitors close so we sold the business while we could still get some $ for it. I had wanted to sell 2 years earlier but couldn't convince my partners to do so.
These days record stores are few and far between. Even my local Best Buy's cd area dwindles every year almost down to the nothing. Digital content, itunes, etc, is the name of the game now and good luck trying to compete with it.