Good news for Gap Inc. employees: Reuters is reporting that the retailer will be raising the minimum hourly pay for U.S. employees to $9 in June 2014. That will go up again to $10 in June 2015.
This follows news that federally contracted employees will receive minimum wages of $10.10 (up from $7.25) starting on Jan. 1, 2015. Gap CEO Glenn Murphy says this isn't political, though, but rather an investment in Gap Inc.'s business.
This is the latest in a series of positive changes for the company, which operates Gap, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Old Navy, Intermix and Athleta. Gap, which has been in what seems like a constant state of reinventing its brand image for years, recently hired Rebekka Bay as its new creative director.
It remains to be seen whether Bay, who helped found H&M's Cos, will be able to finally inspire a sense of sartorial urgency in Gap customers; the ad campaign for Bay's first full collection came out just a few days ago, with its messaging focused on going back to the brand's denim-clad roots. Gap has been improving its customer service of late, however, ranking as one of the 10 best retailers in that category for January.
Overall, Gap Inc. shows promise in its investment in the growing activewear market through GapBody, GapFit, Active by Old Navy and Athleta, which is snapping at Lululemon's heels for market share among the yogi set.
Is the minimum wage raise a good thing? Definitely, and certainly for PR. Now let's see if Gap Inc. can maintain its forward momentum.