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Entries in Gap (9)

Wednesday
Dec262012

Seven Ways the Generation Gap Divides the Office

Ciaran Griffin/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Generational divides are nothing new. In fact, Robert Wendover, managing director of the Center for Generational Studies, says you can trace it back to comments Socrates made in 400 B.C.: "[Our youth] have contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders."

What makes today's divide unique, however, is technology's influence in the workplace. The following list below shows how this gap plays out in the office, and what the generations can do to get along better.

1.) "Do you read?"

Rachel, a 26-year-old editorial assistant in publishing, was interested in taking on more responsibility at work. When she talked to the managing editor, in her 60s, about editing more pages in the magazine she literally had to explain why she was qualified by listing the books she's read. "I had to restrain my eyes from rolling out of my head," Rachel said. There's an assumption that because people are online so much they're not literate. On the flip side, Maria, 36, an ad sales director, will never forget when a junior co-worker asked: "Does "tweeting" something count as "saying"?" Huh?

Reality check: According to a survey by Lee Hecht Harrison Company, 70 percent of older employees are dismissive of younger workers' abilities, and 50 percent of Gen Y workers are dismissive of older workers' abilities.

2.) "How do you fill out a FedEx form?”

Danielle, 26, a magazine editor, had a problem when an intern asked her how to fill out a FedEx form. "What's so difficult about following directions?" she wondered. "Just read the form."

Reality check: Wendover suggests that the biggest thing both generations can do to get along is "show insatiable curiosity." Grant yourself the serenity to understand the difference between what others can teach you and what you can teach yourself.

3.) "I remember when cut and paste involved a glue stick."

When KC, 30, was an art assistant, her directors — typically in their 50s — recalled the days when "you literally had to paste paper together to make layouts." Though KC couldn't imagine working without a computer, comments like this would get, pun intended, old.

Reality check: That whole "when I was your age" thing can be eye opening but not when it becomes a crutch.

In an article for The New York Times, David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, wrote: "Our attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it."

4.) "We're friends on Facebook."

Edgar, 43 and a social media marketer, hears this a lot from the younger generation.

"They think because they're connected with someone online that there's a real relationship there," he said.

This can be harmless of course until it comes to networking and expecting favors from someone you've never really spent time with in person.

"I literally had a co-worker ask me why I would waste my time going to events when I could just 'friend' people online," he said.

Reality check: It's true, recent college graduates are pretty green, but they're hungry for mentors. According PricewaterhouseCooper's 14th Annual Global CEO Survey in 2011, 98 percent of Millennials believe working with a mentor is a necessary component in development. In fact, they ranked training and development three times higher than cash bonuses as their first choice in benefits.

Rather than ignore an online request for help or guidance, suggest that you meet over the phone or in person instead. Teach the benefits of old-fashioned networking by doing.

5.) "What's a browser?"

Even people who work online aren't immune from running into a technological divide. Kaitlin, 27 and producer at an e-commerce site, explains: "Someone in our merchandising department (in her 50s) noticed a problem on our site so I asked her what browser she was using. She looked at me blankly and said: 'just a regular one.' She clearly had no idea what a browser is."

But when it comes to more antiquated forms of communication, those in their 20s may have a difficult time of it. For instance, when Andrea was working as an editor-in-chief she asked an intern to fax something for her. The girl's response: "I don't know how. My father usually does it for me."

Reality check: Thanks to something known as "helicopter parenting" it's the belief of many Gen Xers that kids today struggle with doing things on their own. In an article for The Huffington Post, titled "Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids," Mickey Goodman interviews experts on how society got this way and what parents can do to teach their kids some independence.

One piece of advice from her article that applies to both generations: It's OK to fail and it's OK to admit you don't know something. Just learn and move on.

6.) "I was thinking I should learn Photoshop."

Alie, 31, is a designer for a popular handbag line. The creative director of the team is over 50 and keeps telling Alie he's "thinking about learning Photoshop."

"It's just funny to me because we don't even design in Photoshop," says Alie. "But yeah, it would be great if he took the time to understand at least half the programs his own team uses!"

Reality check: According to the LexisNexis Technology Gap survey, 49 percent of Gen Y use photo-editing programs at work versus 28 percent of Boomers.

In an article for U.S. News, career columnist Ritika Trikha advises that everyone keep their skills current, especially boomers. To get a leg up on the younger competition, she recommends: "Show employers that you're eager to adapt and keep learning by seeking out certification and classes on the latest software, database, or whichever application bolsters efficiency in your field."

7.) "I couldn't find the Internet."

Margaret, 31, and a marketing director, couldn't understand why her boss, 45, wasn't online during a recent business trip in L.A., especially since she had just returned from the same trip and had no problem. "She said to me: 'I was trying to do Linksys, you know, that Internet that is free everywhere. I get it at home, but it wouldn't connect at the hotel.' I didn't have the heart to tell her that Linksys is not some U.S.-wide free WiFi network, and she's been stealing her neighbor's Internet."

Reality check: "I couldn't find the Internet" is officially the new "the dog ate my homework."

It is important to understand the Internet in the workplace at any age.

According to Wendover, "The reality is that most of what makes the world go round is based on the collective wisdom of those who have come before. If older people reach out, young people are more likely to embrace the relationship over time."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov162012

Gap Sued by Shoe Designer over Look-Alike Loafers

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Entering a world where Christian Louboutin, Kate Spade and other designers have all tread before, a high-end shoe designer has filed a lawsuit against the Gap, charging the clothing chain with replicating his signature loafers and stripes.

Charles Philip, a Milan and Shanghai-based designer, alleges that Gap Inc., a chain with more than 3,000 stores worldwide, is essentially selling his 2011 line of shoes in their stores by copying his trademark of a "distinctive striped design on the inside of a shoe" and even using a similar name, calling the shoes the "Phillip Moccasin Slipper" and "Phillip Slipper," with two "l's" instead of one.

"Our client isn't claiming that he owns loafers," Philip's attorney, Andrea E. Bates told ABCNews.com. "What he is claiming is that he owns the trademark of the blue and white stripe inside of the shoe. Charles Philip is known for stripes inside the shoes and Gap has done the same thing, copied the entire line, same colors, same scheme."

Bates says that Gap introduced the line of "Phillip" shoes, which have since been removed from the Gap's website but are still available in stores, earlier this fall, around the same time the company launched its series of collections with GQ's 2012 Best New Menswear Designers.

Bates, on behalf of Philip, contends that is enough to draw confusion in the marketplace, leading customers to believe that they are purchasing the same brand of Philip's loafers, seen on the likes of stars like Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Alba and sold exclusively in high-end retailers including Neiman Marcus and Saks.

"He's extremely attentive to detail and his shoes meet a specific quality whereas the Gap shoes do not," Bates said of the "Phillip" line, which cost about 80 percent less than Philip's $150 to $185 shoes. "They look just like the Philip shoe and even have "Phillip" stamped in them but they do not remotely meet the quality of his shoes or why people spend the money they do to buy his shoes."

"It would be easy for a customer to be confused, maybe thinking that that's part of that [GQ] line," she said.

In court papers filed in Los Angeles Federal Court last month, the designer has asked the San Francisco-based retail chain to pull their versions of the shoe from store shelves and pay him undisclosed compensation.

A call placed to Gap for comment was not returned. A spokeswoman earlier this week told the New York Post the company does "not comment on pending litigation."

The two sides will make their first court appearance at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 3.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

Gap Pulls 'Manifest Destiny' T-Shirt from Shelves After Social Media Outcry

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gap has pulled from its shelves a black and white T-shirt printed with "Manifest Destiny" across the chest, after backlash from consumers who say the slogan is racist toward Native Americans.

When the item first went on sale about a month ago as part of Gap's GQ collection, people quickly took to social media, expressing their outrage. In addition to Facebook messages and plenty of email, Change.org created a petition amassing more than 5,000 followers.

"This article of clothing promotes a belief that has resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people, and it serves to normalize oppression," the petition read. "This shirt is marketed to teens and young adults, and it gives no context for the racism and inequality that persists in our society, to this day, as a result of this doctrine. We are asking that this shirt be discontinued, and that an apology be issued."

The "Manifest Destiny" phrase was first used by newspaper editor John O'Sullivan in 1845 to justify U.S. expansion into the West during the 19th century amid the Second Great Awakening when many settlers believed God had blessed their expansion over the whole nation. "That claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us," he wrote.

A Native American activist, Renee Roman Nose, sent a letter to Gap, which was also published in Indian Country Today, explaining her distaste for the shirt. "Manifest Destiny was the catchphrase which led to the genocide of millions of my people, millions of Indigenous people throughout this country," Nose wrote. "I am also inviting the more than 1,700 people on my Facebook page to boycott your stores and inviting them to shop with their conscience."

The shirt's designer, the iconic fashion designer Mark McNairy, took to Twitter to, at first, boast about the slogan. "MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST," he wrote, then later deleted.

He followed up Oct. 15 with another tweet personally apologizing for his dismissal of what many believe to be a dark time in American history. "I AM SORRY FOR MY SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST COMMENT. IT HURT ME DEEPLY TO BE CALLED A RACIST AS THAT IS NOT ME. I REACTED WITHOUT THINKING," he tweeted in all caps.

Gap issued a statement Tuesday, one day after McNairy's tweet, in response to the backlash. "Thank you for your feedback regarding the 'Manifest Destiny' t-shirt," the company said. "Based on customer feedback, we will no longer offer the t-shirt in our stores or online."

Gap isn't the only corporate company to encounter a backlash for a phrase emblazoned on the chest of a T-shirt. Nike was in hot water this summer for a women's Olympic-themed shirt it released with the phrase "Gold Digger" on it. The product was, according to the company, intended to reference aspirations to win an Olympic gold medal, but Facebook and Twitter users begged to differ.

"Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market," one tweeter wrote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec282011

Gap, Overstock Biggest Losers in Online Customer Satisfaction

Hemera/Thinkstock/PRNewsFoto/Netflix/Gap/Overtsock.com(NEW YORK) -- With the end of the holiday season at hand, Gap.com and Overstock.com ranked at the bottom of a survey of customer satisfaction with online retailers. Amazon topped the list with previous winner, Netflix, dropping after a customer service blunder earlier this year.

Analytics company Foresee on Wednesday released the seventh annual results of its ForeSee Holiday Study.

Amazon gained two points to score 88 on the study's 100-point scale. Netflix fell 7 points to a score of 79. The movie-rental company lost 800,000 members of about 20 million after it announced a new pricing plan and streaming service in October. Netflix's stock price also took a tumble. The company and CEO Reed Hastings has since canceled its plans and apologized to customers.

The survey results are based on more than 8,500 responses from visitors to the top 40 e-retail websites, according to sales revenue as reported by Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide.

In addition to Netflix, both Gap.com and Overstock.com had the largest declines in satisfaction, leaving them with scores at the bottom of the list. Gap.com fell 6 percent to a score of 73. Overstock.com was down 5 percent to 72.

Amazon, Gap and Netflix did not return a request for comment. Overstock declined to comment about the survey.

The largest gains in satisfaction went to TigerDirect.com, up 8 percent to 79, and JC Penney, up 6 percent to 83.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov092011

Poll: Six in 10 Support Policies Addressing Income Inequality

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Six in 10 Americans say the federal government should pursue policies to reduce the gap between the wealthy and less-well-off Americans, although fewer express support for the Occupy Wall Street movement that’s been protesting U.S. income inequality.

Sixty-one percent of respondents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll think the wealth gap is larger than it’s been historically.  And despite longstanding public concerns about activist government, six in 10 also say the federal government should seek to reduce that differential.

The public’s concern is buttressed by a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans have nearly tripled their incomes since 1979, while the bottom 80 percent of earners have seen their share of the nation’s total income slightly decline.

The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that 37 percent perceive the wealth gap as “much larger” than it’s been; just 5 percent think it’s smaller.  And 43 percent feel “strongly” that the government should pursue policies to address it, versus 24 percent who are strongly opposed.

Overall support for such policies is linked to perceptions of a widening wealth gap.  Among those who think the gap is much larger than it’s been historically, 84 percent say the government should pursue policies to address it.  That declines to 54 percent among people who think the gap is just somewhat larger than in the past, and 41 percent of those who think it’s about the same.

But while 60 percent support polices to address wealth distribution, substantially fewer -- 44 percent -- identify themselves as supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and just 18 percent strongly so.  About as many, 41 percent, say they oppose the movement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct162011

Winners and Losers in U.S. Clothing Retail

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Maybe things are looking up for U.S. retailers after all, or at least some of them.

September's retail sales, announced Thursday, were better than expected, and some retailers, including apparel company Uniqlo, have aggressive plans for expansion by both quantity of stores and store size.

Uniqlo opened its second store in the United States on Friday—a whopping 89,000-square-foot, three-story flagship with cathedral ceilings and revolving mannequin displays on storied Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Its first store, which opened in New York City's bustling and trendy shopping district, SoHo, in 2006, is more than 35,000 square feet in size.

The chairman of the company, which originates from Japan, hopes Uniqlo will be the No. 1 retailer in the country, with a store in every major U.S. city, and have $50 billion in sales worldwide by 2020.

Uniqlo is currently the fourth-largest retailer in the world with $10 billion in sales, according to Chief Operating Officer Yasunobu Kyogoku. And $10 billion of that future $50 billion is expected to come from the United States.

After opening Uniqlo's third U.S. store, in its 64,000-square-foot glory, in Manhattan's Herald Square on Oct. 21, Kyogoku said Uniqlo is hoping to expand further in New York City and its outlying areas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and all major metropolitan areas. The stores at Herald Square and Fifth Avenue will be its two largest stores in the world.

Though Uniqlo is opening stores, many other retailers across the country have been closing underperforming stores.

On Thursday, Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, said it plans a 20 percent reduction in North American Gap stores by 2013 but will expand its Gap Outlet stores.

There were 1,091 Gap stores and 22 franchise stores in North America as of July 30. But by the end of 2013, the company hopes to have 700 Gap speciality stores and 250 outlet stores.

As of July 30, Gap Inc. had 3,248 company-operated or franchised stores across 34 countries.

Bookseller Borders has declared bankruptcy while Barnes & Noble has shuttered several flagship stores—even in populous New York City.

"The days of big stores are over, in my opinion, and we'll see this trend for quite a few years to come," said Jennifer Black, CEO of the independent research firm, Jennifer Black and Associates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

The Gap to Close 200 Stores in North America

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Faced with declining sales, Gap. Inc announced Thursday that it would shutter about 20 percent of its clothing stores in North America by the end of 2013.

Currently, there are nearly 900 stores and within two years, only 700 Gaps will stay open.

The problem is that Gap's mid-priced clothes are being squeezed out by customers looking for items either on the high or low end of the scale.  Old Navy and Banana Republic, which are also owned by Gap Inc., are also seeing sales drop off but not as drastically.

Meanwhile, the Gap is looking East for some answers.  It plans to triple its stores in China from 15 to 45.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Sep102011

Lululemon’s Success Inspires Gap, Nike and Nordstrom to Rethink Yoga 

Benjamin Norman/Bloomberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rising star in yoga apparel, Lululemon Athletica, has Gap, Nike and Nordstrom launching yoga-inspired, Lululemon-like lines of their own.

Bloomberg News reports that retail giants like Gap are jumping on board the pricey spandex bandwagon, and are launching $60 women’s yoga tops of their own at their Athleta stores and offering free yoga classes as well—another popular Lululemon trend.

Nike’s Salvation chain is offering $64 training capris and a yoga-studio style similar to those found in Lululemon.

Nordstrom’s Zella line has hired a Lululemon to recharge their yoga apparel.

Despite the current economic climate that has many penny-pinching shoppers hunting for bargains, U.S. sales of women’s athletic clothing rose 2.6 percent in 2010 to $30.5 billion, according to market researcher NPD Group that said the trend is driven 100 percent by Lululemon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct112010

Gap Listens to Customers: Bring Back the Blue Box

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Marka Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, announced Monday that the popular clothing company would change its logo back to its iconic blue box just one week after introducing a new, modern logo on its website, gap.com.

After the new logo's reveal, Gap consumers spoke out against the change on blogs, message boards and the company's Facebook fan page.  Last Friday, Hansen responded to the complaints on The Huffington Post, explaining Gap, Inc.'s decision to update the logo after more than 20 years. 

"Our brand and our clothes are changing and rethinking our logo is part of aligning with that," she wrote.  Hansen later added, "We chose this design as it's more contemporary and current.  It honors our heritage through the blue box while taking it forward."

However, after allowing fans to share their feedback about the change on Gap's Facebook page, Hansen announced the new logo's recall.

"Last week we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all the the passion.  Ultimately, we've learned just how much energy there is around our brand.  All roads are leading us back to the blue box, so we've made the decision not to use the new logo on gap.com any further," Hansen said in a statement.

Gap, Inc. plans to bring the classic logo back across all channels.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio