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Wednesday
Dec172014

Top holiday gifts – as you wish

We’re officially in full holiday mode!

To get through this year’s holiday shopping stretch, we launched a brand new online tool to make things a little easier – Wish List.

Among the most popular Wish List items this season are: a cozy kids sweatshirt, a trendy chic clutch and these yoga crops. Check out the most wish-listed items from Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Piperlime.

And, if you’re still wishing and hoping for some of our brands’ most coveted pieces this year, don’t forget to create a Wish List of your own.

Monday
Dec152014

Banana Republic says... holiday procrastinators, rejoice!

We’re in the final shopping stretch this holiday season – that last couple of weeks of December where the panic sets in, and you know you won’t be able to get everything done without a real-life Santa, and a sleigh that can sub for miracle shipping.

Banana Republic wants to help, with its first-ever Procrastinators Event.

The brand is catering to last-minute shoppers this season, offering six days of perks – from free taxi rides to same-day delivery, to extra helping hands (think personal shopping assistant… or elves).

Here are details of the program, which runs Dec. 17-22:

Extra Help: Customers at all U.S. stores will get a $30 credit from TASKRABBIT to help with any last-minute to-dos – holiday party cleaning help, peppermint hot chocolate runs, hanging Christmas tree lights, picking up your office’s Secret Santa gift, etc.

Free Rides: Shoppers can avoid packed parking lots and lugging shopping bags on public transportation by catching a free ride (up to $20) with CURB to or from Banana Republic stores across the country.

Free Same-Day Delivery: Customers who shop on bananarepublic.com and reserve gifts through Reserve In Store will receive an email from which they can choose to have those items shipped that same day for free through DELIV.  This is available in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Houston and Seattle.

Free Shipping and Gift Wrap: Shoppers in San Francisco, New York and Miami will get a $25 credit at the register that can be used to ship their gifts through SHYP. Customers who visit the Banana Republic Grant Avenue store in San Francisco, Soho store in New York and Aventura Mall in Miami, can immediately hand over their gifts to Shyp ambassadors to be gift wrapped with Brit+Co designed wrapping paper and shipped off to loved ones anywhere in the world.

For more info, visit www.bananarepublic.com/lastminute

Friday
Dec122014

Gap Hosts North America Coat Drive

This season, when you give a coat, you can get a coat (or a shirt, or sweater, or hat, or other Gap must-have item) for a discount – and support your local Boys and Girls Club.

Through Monday, December 15, all North America Gap locations will be participating in a coat drive in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America. Customers can bring in and donate a new or gently used adult or kids’ winter coat and will receive $10 off of their entire purchase that day.

In addition to accepting coat donations, customers can donate any monetary amount to Boys and Girls Clubhouse and also receive $10 off their purchase. Customers don’t need to make a purchase to donate.

Each store has been paired with a local clubhouse, and all of the proceeds will go to that local Boys and Girls Clubhouse.

Which coat will you donate for your discount?

Thursday
Dec112014

Ethisphere recognizes Gap Inc.’s minimum wage raise

Number 5 out of 100.

That’s the ranking Ethisphere gave Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy on its 2014 list of 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, based on the company’s decision to raise the minimum wage for its U.S. employees.

The organization, dedicated to defining and advancing the standards in ethical business practices, lauded Murphy for his efforts in leading the company to increase the minimum wage for U.S. employees to $9 this year and $10 in 2015. The move was considered so bold, President Barack Obama showed his support with a surprise shopping trip to Gap earlier this year.  

“The people in our company who engage directly with our customers carry an incredible responsibility. Our success is a result of their hard work, love of fashion and commitment,” said Murphy at the time of the announcement. “We hope this decision provides them with some additional support as they grow their careers with Gap Inc.”

Thursday
Dec112014

Adopt a Family: "We're human beings first"

That helper’s high you get when you do something nice? That’s totally real. Giving to someone in need “lifts the happiness” of the giver, as well as the givee, by stimulating parts of the brain that govern pleasure, trust and social connection, according to the National Institutes of Health.

It’s the right thing to do, and the more involved you get, the higher the impact – giving last year was at more than $335 billion in the U.S., and most of that came from individuals, according to Charity Navigator.

Take Jessica Zotz, a store project manager who for the past seven years has been participating in Gap Inc.’s Adopt a Family program, supporting underserved families in local communities.

One year, she gave an electric guitar to a little boy who wanted one. But even better was what she gave her dad that year.

“I was struggling with what to get him – he didn’t really need anything. But he loves music, he plays the guitar, and here was this boy who wanted one. So I gave the guitar in his name.

“He didn’t say anything at first – just got up and walked across the room and hugged me, and cried. And said it was the best gift he’d ever received.”

She’s moved around Gap Inc. – to jobs in California and New Mexico, for example – and always finds the same sense of community.

“It doesn’t matter where I am in the organization,” she said. “I always find the same feeling.”

Julie Buckholz started her Gap Inc. career in New York 21 years ago and has also worked in New Jersey, Florida and Philadelphia. She’s been participating in Adopt A Family for two decades.

One year, she was able to hang out with the family – cook for them, decorate the tree with them.

“The kids are in school with my son, so I hear about how they’re doing,” she said. “Last year, they weren’t on the list, and I know they’re doing well, which made me so happy.”

This year, Julie’s team is adopting 10 kids from their local Boys & Girls Club, and in addition to giving gifts, she’s going to volunteer there.

“This program is all about the pause,” she said. “This is a crazy time of year and people are grouchy, but it’s good to remember what it’s really about. As a team, we get to do this together – we get to slow down and do something bigger than us, bigger than the Gap.”

In China, Gap Inc. employees donate gifts to underprivileged kids from migrant families. These children moved to Shanghai but because they don’t have permanent residence, they cannot go to public schools. Their family income is lower than average and their school conditions are primitive.

This year, the China team sponsored 170 bags of gifts, and volunteered 30 hours, adopting around 42 of these families.

“This is the No. 1 reason why I stay here,” says Jessica, of the program. “If I look for other jobs, I look internally because I don’t want to leave this.”

“In retail,” adds Julie, “this is what it’s about. Yes, we’re here for customers, helping them find their gifts and get their shopping done. But we’re human beings first."