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Today in Retail: Target Offers Bonuses for Working Holiday Rush; Rent the Runway Prepares for Public Debut

In today’s top retail news, Target plans to boost the hourly pay of employees working certain high-traffic hours ahead of the holidays, while Rent the Runway’s initial public offering (IPO) filing reveals recovering subscriber numbers as the pandemic wanes. Also, Best Buy launches a new membership program with unlimited tech support and other perks, and Gap makes another acquisition to bolster its eCommerce and in-store experiences.

Target Offers Bonuses to Work During Busiest Holiday Shopping Days

Target plans to pay hourly employees in its stores, service centers and warehouses a $2 hourly bonus for each hour they work during the peak of the holiday shopping rush in November and December in an attempt to combat labor shortages across the U.S. Target has also reduced the number of seasonal employees it’s hiring ahead of the holidays to 100,000, instead giving current employees an additional 5 million hours.

Rent the Runway Sees Subscribers Rebound From Pandemic’s Depths

Rent the Runway’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a public listing shows a rebound from the pandemic in terms of subscriber count and active subscribers, although revenue pressures remain in place. Rent the Runway is positioning itself to capitalize on a continued shift to online channels, with the company noting that as many as 80,000 retailers, or 9% of stores, will close their doors over the next five years.

Best Buy’s New Membership Offers Unlimited Tech Support, New Product Access

Best Buy is launching a new nationwide membership program, Totaltech, that offers unlimited technology support, along with access to products that could be hard to come by as the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. For the annual price of $199.99, members get unlimited, round-the-clock tech support, exclusive pricing, free shipping and other perks. The program was piloted at select locations six months ago.

Gap Acquisition Tracks Trend of Retailers Bringing eCommerce Experiences Into Physical Stores

Gap Inc. has acquired Context-Based 4 Casting (CB4), a New York- and Tel Aviv-based startup whose recommendation technology is used to create more satisfying in-store interactions. In a statement announcing the deal, Sally Gilligan, Gap’s chief growth transformation officer and head of the company’s strategic growth office, said the retailer believes artificial intelligence and machine learning will shape the future of the industry, which was a major factor in the decision.

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