OPERATIONS

Report: Gap applications surge on higher wage

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Gap Inc. has reportedly experienced a 10% increase in job applications since its February announcement that it would raise its minimum wage for employees to $10 per hour by 2015. According to Bloomberg, the increase has occurred across all Gap brands, including Banana Republic and Athletica, but has been most pronounced at Old Navy, where applications had previously been declining.

Gap’s minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour in 2014 and then to $10 an hour in 2015, eventually affecting 65,000 store-level associates. Gap executives have said the higher wage has given them access to a broader and better qualified pool of applicants.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Sam’s Club launches online travel service

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Sam’s Club is launching Sam’s Club Travel, a savings-centered online booking service for business and leisure travel needs of Sam’s Club members. The new digital service is a collaboration with wholesale travel services provider Tourico Holidays.

Scaling Tourico’s proprietary technology to its warehouse club members, Sam’s Club Travel offers savings on a la carte purchases and vacation packages across the globe. The portal includes integrated TripAdvisor reviews, real-time price comparisons to leading competitors, “Click to Chat” instant member service and secure booking.

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REAL ESTATE

Juicy Couture to expand U.S. stores, global brand

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – A series of new concept Juicy Couture stores will be opened in the U.S. and Canada beginning in 2015. The new stores will be in key, high traffic locations such as New York City, Los Angeles and Vancouver, and will replace existing Juicy Couture stores in the U.S.

The brand will continue to expand upon its nearly 200 retail locations in key international markets, working with partners in Asia, Europe (FF Group) and the Middle East (MAF) and another 127 stores and shop-in-shops are expected to open during the next five years in major cities across the globe.

The Juicy Couture Black Label Collection, now available worldwide, is being expanded by new owner Authentic Brands Group LLC (ABG) with new offerings in intimates, kidswear and footwear, with a focus on opening girl’s and intimates free-standing shops internationally. The global Juicy Couture Black Label Collection also will be enhanced through partnerships with Elizabeth Arden (fragrance), Steve Madden (footwear), Movado (watches), Safilo (eyewear), Contour (tech accessories) and Swimwear Anywhere (swimwear).

In addition, ABG is re-launching JuicyCouture.com, the global e-commerce and brand site.

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