Insider Retail: Target employees speak out about its shoplifting policy, Starbucks plans to raise its minimum wage, and DoorDash goes public

Hello and happy Friday!

It's hard to believe that 2021 is right around the corner. For now, we've still got a few weeks left of 2020 as we gear up for the holidays. In the world of retail, these next few weeks are always crucial for companies looking to hit sales goals in their busiest time of the year.

Some experts think off-price stores like Ross and Burlington are set to win big over department stores this holiday season, thanks to deep discounts predicted to be especially popular with cost-conscious consumers this year. Time will tell what the outcome will be for this pandemic-era holiday shopping season in what has been a very unpredictable 2020.

Holidays aside, a lot of other things are happening in retail, especially this week, from IPOs to a big new hire at Starbucks. If you haven't already subscribed, click here to get me, Shoshy Ciment, and my colleague, Bethany Biron, in your inbox every Friday. 

Here's what you need to know:

Starbucks raises minimum wage and hires a new board chair

Starbucks made some big moves this week:

1. The chain's CEO Kevin Johnson revealed plans to instate a $15 minimum wage in stores across America over the next three years, The Wall Street Journal reported. This move follows workers' demands for higher pay.

2. Starbucks also joined McDonald's and Walmart in calling for a new stimulus package from Congress. At Starbucks' investor day Wednesday, Johnson said "We need Congress to take action."

3. The coffee chain additionally tapped Mellody Hobson as its board chair. Hobson, who is on the Biden cabinet short-list, will be the only Black female director among S&P 500 companies where the director is not also the company CEO, according to Bloomberg.

In non-executive news, Starbucks is giving away Peppermint Mocha air fresheners. But you have to use the drive-thru to get them.

DoorDash goes public

DoorDash went public this week, pricing its IPO at $102 per share, well above the roughly $15 billion private valuation the company achieved earlier in 2020.

DoorDash opened trading Wednesday at $182 per share, which was 78% above its IPO price. The offering, which is expected to raise $3.4 billion, values the food-delivery company at $32.4 billion.

Following the IPO, CEO Tony Xu's stake in the company is now worth $2.7 billion. Here's a look at what other executives at the food-delivery company make.

Target employees say the chain will sometimes wait to arrest shoplifters

Business Insider spoke to seven former and current Target employees across the US that said that it was common for the retailer to not immediately apprehend shoplifters. Instead, some stores wait for the total value of the stolen items to reach a certain amount before taking action.

A trending TikTok video initially highlighted this controversial approach to store theft.

While Target said it does not have "any policies in place to hold or bundle shoplifting charges until they reach a felony level," these seven employees around the US said this practice was common. 

We looked into why Target might do this and why it actually might be a relatively common trend to mitigate crime across retail.

What's new in the world of direct-to-consumer?

HighKey Cookies

  • HighKey, a keto-friendly DTC snack brand, quadrupled its revenue in 2020 and became the best-selling chocolate chip cookie on Amazon.
  • Alo Yoga, an activewear and fitness company, is expanding into skincare after online sales for its Alo Yoga and Alo Moves offerings quadrupled in 2020.
  • Why DTC brands like Casper, Harry's, and Native, are finally partnering with major retailers like Target, Walmart, and CVS.
  • The US Federal Trade Commission is trying to stop P&G from acquiring women's DTC razor brand Billie.

Everything else you need to know:

  • 2020 is officially the 'Year of Jordan.'
  • Stitch Fix thinks it can capitalize on a 'forever changed' shopping landscape as apparel sales dwindle.
  • How much fermentation engineers, food scientists, and others make at Impossible Foods.
  • JCPenney latches on to growing livestream shopping trend in the US.
  • Echelon Fitness grew sales 700% during the pandemic.

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