While lawmakers argue about the possible benefits and risks of raising the federal minimum wage by more than 25%, the CEO of Gap Inc. says it will gradually increase its lowest wage tier to $10 an hour over the next two years. [More]
When you order clothing online, there’s always the chance you’ll get the wrong size or color. But you rarely get three folders full of sensitive employee documents containing things like Social Security numbers, addresses, and tax forms. [More]
Shopping can be very confusing — styles, cuts, washes fabrics… It makes the head spin. But what can make it all the more mind-boggling is when something is advertised as a sale, but then really it appears to have the price adjusted to cost more. Consumerist reader Bryan, a “well dressed, yet thrifty man,” was tempted by a recent Banana Republic email promotion. [More]
Spotting a 40% off sale is a gleeful event — better than a measly 30% and almost at that sweet half-off price. So when Andrew stumbled upon just such a sale online at Banana Republic’s site yesterday, he acted quickly to nab some of his favorite items. Speed didn’t matter, in this case. [More]
When Jessica went shopping at Banana Republic last month, she forgot her store credit card. That was OK, the sales clerk assured her: she just needed Jessica’s Social Security number and for her to sign off on the transaction in order to access her existing card data in the system. Most people are so used to having our forgotten store loyalty cards looked up using our phone numbers that this seems natural enough. Only it wasn’t – by providing her SSN and signature, Jessica was actually applying for a Banana Republic Visa card. [More]
Consumerist reader Valerie is in a bit of a pickle — over the last couple of weeks, packages have been piling up at her doorstep, which would be nice if she had actually ordered them. [More]
Jonathan’s wife ordered some clothes from Banana Republic, and was confused when another, similarly-sized box arrived on their doorstep from Banana Republic a week later. This box was clearly not destined for her, since she had not ordered the exciting new “Open Your Own Banana Republic” playset.
It’s no surprise that a popular purveyor of work-suitable vestments suck lowered a reader’s friend’s store credit-card limit, but to go from $1000 to $100, that’s cold, Banana Republic. Danielle writes:
- Banana Republic: 30% off today only with coupon code HAPPY30 or printable coupon
- Sears: Free Masterlock with printable coupon
- MusiciansFriend: AKG Handheld Condenser Microphone for $100 + free shipping. Today only.
Highlights From Dealhack
- Timbuk2: Save up to 60% off Messenger Bags, Backpacks, & More
- New York & Co.: Extra 20% off Store-Wide Women’s Apparel
- Office Depot: Viewsonic N3235w 32-inch LCD HDTV $470 & Free Shipping
- Woot: Reebok Precision Trainer XT Heart Rate Monitor with Chest Strap for $19.99
- Circuit City: California Only – all items tax-free Aug 9-10
- Commerce Bank: Kids can earn $10 by reading ten books
Highlights From Dealhack
- Buy.com: Seagate 500GB USB 2.0 Drive $89 Shipped
- B&H Photo: Sharp 1024×768 DLP Multimedia Projector $519 Shipped
- Shop Adidas: Back to School Sale: Save 20% off Apparel & Shoes
Highlights From Bargainist
Sweatshop In Queens Produced Clothes For Macy's, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria's Secret
New York state labor officials are bringing one of their largest cases ever against Jin Shun, a clothing factory in Queens, New York that employed Chinese immigrants. Inspectors say the company
- cheated its workers out of more than $5 million in pay;
- instructed workers to lie to state inspectors;
- required 6 and 7-day workweeks, sometimes for up to 120 days at a time;
- didn’t pay overtime or minimum wage;
- kept two sets of timecards to fake-out inspectors.
Macy’s says they’re “very concerned” about the case and are investigating it, the Gap says they’re cooperating with authorities, and Victoria’s Secret says they have a “zero tolerance policy” for factories that are unwilling to work with them to achieve compliance—all of which makes us wonder whether any of these companies ever investigated the factory personally. (It’s not like it was in some remote part of China.)
Reader Tim says that Banana Republic sent him a Visa after he opted out of the program and that the card’s mailer was misleading (it looked like a replacement for his regular Banana Republic card, not a new “optional” Visa account) and didn’t disclose important details… like the card’s interest rate.
Reader Maegan wrote Banana Republic to let them know that their credit card website was buggy and annoying to use. She got back a canned response that halfheartedly apologized for the state of their website and recommended that she use another service to pay her bill.
A freelance journalist has caught the GAP using child labor to produce hand embroidered clothing for its GAP Kids line. The children, who are as young as 10, are quoted as saying they were sold to the factory by their families and cannot leave until their debt is paid. A video of the factory’s squalid conditions shows GAP Kids labels on the clothing.
Mike Antonucci at the San Jose Mercury News took your complaints to the Gap’s top brass and got some interesting responses. They even responded to our editorializing about the Gap’s general state of failure with some upbeat sentences touting their own profitability. Whoops! We guess we were wrong and everything is just fine. Wait, what about the three-year sales slump, the recent layoffs, and the fact that same-store sales (the most important indicator of the health of a retail operation) have fallen in 12 consecutive quarters. Teehee! Sorry, we were sooo mean!