Stewart's Shops Partners have received their profit sharing statements. Existing ESOP accounts received approximately 13% growth on their existing accounts including over 6% in dividends.
This success is from the service our great Partners provide, increased operating profitability, and the changes in the Federal corporate tax law.
The company has made a $17 million company contribution to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, an increase of $6 million over the previous year. This contribution is about 17 percent of the Partners' 2018 gross pay.
Stewart's employees are called partners, and they really are, since they own nearly 40 percent of the company through their ESOP. It is 100 percent funded by the company for anyone working at least 1000 hours a year. After six years in the plan, a partner's balance is usually greater than a year's pay.
There are nearly 1,000 partners with a balance of over $100,000, and 75 partners with a balance of over $1 million. Nearly a third of these millionaires started out as hourly employees, and over a third are still actively working versus retired. This is possible because of Stewart's stability, enabling years of double digit percent of pay contributions, plus double-digit appreciation of balances each year.
Stewarts' youngest millionaire is 46 years old and a long-term shop manager.
"Stewart's Shops has offered me a great career," he said. "I am proud and extremely grateful to be one of the 75 millionaires. I want everyone to know, this is real and becoming a millionaire if achievable. I would like to say thank you to the Dake Family for being so generous to their employees. It's nice to know that hard work really does pay off."
"Our continued success is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our partners, and we can't thank them enough," said Stewart's Shops President Gary Dake. We are very pleased to make this investment in our Partners. We are proud to have an average of six ESOP members in each of our shops."
Stewart's ESOP participants also receive paid maternity leave, half-priced YMCA fitness and day care memberships, as well as "Make Your Own" scholarships, which provides $300,000 per year of scholarships to partners dependents.
As seen in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.