OPERATIONS

Gap Takes Steps to Stem Child Labor

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Gap Inc. is pulling 50% of its orders placed with a vendor whose subcontracting led to children sewing some of the retailer’s clothes in squalid conditions in India, according to the Associated Press.

The penalties disclosed Wednesday wrapped up the company’s investigation into an episode that attracted headlines around the world and renewed concerns about abusive labor practices in overseas factories.

To help address the problem, Gap said it would make a $200,000 grant aimed at improving the working conditions in India and would try to recruit retailers from around the world to participate in a forum next year to address child-labor issues.

Gap said it would also partner with the Global March Against Child Labour and other organizations to provide independent monitoring of hand embroidery and beadwork that is typically done in informal settings, not factories. Grants would help establish community centers in India where such work could be performed under better-monitored conditions.

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Caribou Coffee Replaces CEO

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis, Caribou Coffee Co. is replacing chairman and CEO Michael J. Coles, according to the Associated Press. A regulatory filing said that in six months Coles would get $1.35 million in exchange for agreeing not to sue for “termination without good cause.”

Coles will stay with the company as a director, the report said.

Caribou named Rosalyn T. Mallet as interim CEO. She previously served as company president.

Coles was hired as interim CEO at Caribou in January 2003 and got the job permanently a few months later. He became chairman in 2005.

Coles said Tuesday that he had only planned to stay at Caribou between three to five years.

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Target Vet Joins Rite Aid

BY CSA STAFF

Camp Hill, Pa., Rite Aid Corp. announced Tuesday that Robert K. Thompson, formerly senior VP at Target Corp., has joined the company as senior VP of the Western Division where he will supervise operations of more than 900 stores.

Thompson, 50, most recently served as senior VP, West Region for Target where he was responsible for 320 stores and more than $14 billion in revenue. In this position, he drove significant same-store sales and profit growth by improving performance in high-volume stores in urban centers on the West Coast.

Thompson will report to Brian Fiala, executive VP of store operations. His appointment is effective immediately.

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