Obama Spotlights Wage GAP

Photograph by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

President Barack Obama, with the help of store employee Susan Panariello, shops for sweaters at a GAP store in Manhattan during his unannounced visit on March 11, 2014.

It turns out that raising the minimum wage can be good for a company.

At least GAP is getting the sort of publicity ad-money can’t buy today.

President Barack Obama, who has flown to New York City for party fundraising this evening, stopped off at a GAP to do some shopping. This was no random stop. The president is calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over three years, and GAP has struck out on its own with a raise for the lowest-paid.

Gap Inc., the owner of Old Navy, Banana Republic and its namesake apparel chain, announced in February  that it would raise its hourly pay for U.S. employees to $9 in 2014 and $10 next year, saying it wants to “do more than sell clothes.”

The president may have been marketing his minimum wage agenda, yet he was also doing some shopping for the family — purchasing some GAP wear for his wife and daughters.

“I think they will be impressed by my style sense,” Obama said at the cash register.

Poking some fun at another president’s trip through a check-out lane, Obama asked, “Wait – you just sign here?” He laughed, noting it was a joke (on George H.W. Bush).

On a serious note, he said he is “continuing to push Congress to raise the minimum wage.”

“The GAP made a recent announcement that it was going to raise the minimum wage,” he said. For the workers, he said, it means “a little more income, a little more money in their pockets.”



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