Camp Old Navy

Jul 21, 2005

By George Anderson

A group of kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Summit County, Ohio got to find out what working at retail is all about at “Camp Old Navy” at the Chapel Hill Mall in Akron.

The program, reports the Akron Beacon Journal, was designed to introduce 13- to 18-year-olds to the career potential of working for the Old Navy division at Gap Inc. The
intent, according to the report, was to give the teens “a hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience” of what it is like to work at retail.

Participants in the program observe store employees as they go about their jobs. They were also put to work by helping unpack a product shipment, organize it and get clothes
out on the floor of the store.

Vince Rogers, customer service supervisor at the Chapel Hill Old Navy, said, “I hope they (program participants) see what retail is all about, how much work it takes, how many
jobs it takes to run a store and hopefully get an Old Navy or Gap Inc. employee.’

Moderator’s Comment: How can retailers improve employee recruiting? What do they need to do to get more people thinking
of retail as a career choice rather than simply a job to do until something better comes along?

George Anderson – Moderator

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4 Comments on "Camp Old Navy"

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Jeff Weitzman
Jeff Weitzman
16 years 10 months ago

I hope the kids got a glimpse of where you can go if you spend more than a summer or two working the floor. A glimpse of the responsibilities and rewards of management may give them some perspective on why it’s valuable to approach every job seriously and responsibly.

Mark Lilien
16 years 10 months ago

Retailers who are proud of their internal opportunities can publish their turnover and promotion statistics on their web sites and in their annual reports and SEC filings.

Retailers who screen, train, supervise, reward, and promote properly will be rewarded by getting the staff they deserve. Retailers with poor statistics will also get the staff they deserve.

How many retailers have clear, frequently measured standards of performance for everyone (not just “comp sales”)? How many retailers measure their managers on employee performance, turnover, and staff promotions?

Anything measured will be managed better. And if the measures are public, there will be even greater focus.

RB Ward
RB Ward
16 years 10 months ago

We applaud the company for taking this baby step towards embracing the future workforce. Teens today know very little about “how to work,” let alone how to choose a viable career. It’s a way to show the teens the ropes and, if handled properly, a way for the company to get viable feedback, not only from a potential future employee, but consumer as well.

We have a number of retailers working with us to reach the teen labor market. And, we are taking steps to further develop workplace readiness in potential teen employees to help ensure a prepared to work young adult population.

Tom Zatina
Tom Zatina
16 years 10 months ago

As an entry level job, retailing has always been attractive. But as a career, it loses out to more glamorous sectors. Most retailers fall short when it comes to teaching the business and generating excitement about it. Instead, they leave people with the feeling that it is a grueling and frustrating career with little in the way of satisfaction or reward.

But Camp Old Navy may be on to something here. If more employees are taught the nuts and bolts of the business, they may come to understand it better and discover its excitement, its opportunities and its rewards.


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