Some clothing retailers make more than half their income from their overpriced credit cards

The Conversation has an interesting piece titled Store credit cards generate corporate profits and disgruntled workers, by a pair of sociology professors, Joya Misra and Kyla Walters. Excerpt:

Major apparel companies also sell credit, often with very high fees, like The Gap’s 21.7% starting interest rate, and US$27 to $37 late payment charge. In 2019, Macy’s store credit card revenue of $771 million accounted for more than half of Macy’s operating income.

[M]any workers identified mandates to push credit card applications on customers as the worst part of their jobs. *

Why do workers find this task so troubling?

Our research shows that they know – sometimes from personal experiences – how credit cards can ruin a person’s finances.

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Gabe, another American Eagle employee, refers to his store’s credit card as “a Visa that has the American Eagle logo at an extremely high interest rate,” explaining that only “gullible” customers sign up.

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Tara, a shift lead at American Eagle, said she needed to sell 2.5 credit cards for every 10 transactions at the cash register.

Old Navy managers also expected cashiers like Danielle to sell two cards per shift. Special sales events intensify these goals. For example, Danielle was told to sell five to 10 credit cards during Black Friday shifts.

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