Tapestry Inc. is upping the ante on its commitment to its workforce.
The fashion firm — parent to the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brand — revealed Wednesday that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, starting Sept. 5, for all U.S.-based Tapestry employees, joining retailers such as Target, Amazon and Costco that already have similar wage floors.
In addition, Tapestry associates employed as of March 31 and who are not eligible for annual incentive plans will soon receive one-time appreciation bonuses: $500 for store associates and $1,000 for store managers.
“At Tapestry, we are committed to leading with purpose to stretch what’s possible both within our organization and the world at large,” Joanne Crevoiserat, chief executive officer of Tapestry, said in a statement. “The initiatives we are announcing today, including the formation of the Tapestry Foundation, the expansion of our Corporate Responsibility goals and our incremental investment in our talent, represent an important step forward on this journey. Further, our resolve to making the world more inclusive, sustainable and safe has never been stronger. By taking actions that bring our purpose and values to life, we are embracing our responsibility as a global fashion company to affect positive change for our industry and our stakeholders.”
The newly founded Tapestry Foundation’s mission includes fighting climate change, in addition to advancing other social initiatives. The company made an inaugural contribution of $25 million to the foundation. The Coach Foundation also plans to grant $25 million to the Tapestry Foundation.
Other company initiatives include tying senior-level incentive packages to diversity and inclusion efforts, granting one paid volunteer day per year to all employees to promote community service and committing to buying 100 percent renewable electricity in Tapestry’s stores, offices and fulfillment centers by 2025.
Crevoiserat pointed out that this isn’t the first time the company has invested in its workforce. Like others across the retail industry, Tapestry continued to pay store associates even after March 2020’s coronavirus lockdown. The retailer also offers equity packages “all the way down to the store manager level,” the CEO said. “So they participate as owners in our business.
“This is not a new investment and it’s not a defensive strategy from us, to just hire a bunch of people,” Crevoiserat continued. “This is a commitment that we’ve made historically that we continue to make. And we’ve seen the difference that our team has made in our business. And frankly, we like what we’re seeing. And we want to make sure we’re in a position to have a competitive advantage.
“Our success is really the strength of our people,” she said. “We have tenured associates in our stores who have eight, 10, 12 years of tenure, which is not typical in the retail industry. I think that’s a reflection of how we think about and treat our associates. We have a long history of investing here and it has paid a return in terms of business results. We are motivated, yes, to take care of our shareholders, but by doing that we also have a platform that allows us to make a bigger impact more broadly on our communities and on our society.”
Tapestry plans to report quarterly earnings on Aug. 19, before the market opens.