Local Companies

Gap sees big footprint in online shoes

Gap Inc. (GPS), the leader in online sales among apparel specialty chains, plans to move beyond its brands to enter one of the fastest-growing segments in e-commerce: shoes.

The San Francisco retailer will begin testing today Piperlime.com, a Web site with 100 shoe brands, from $24 flip-flops from surf-clothing brand Roxy to $900 boots from orthopedist/designer Taryn Rose. Gap, which will officially launch the site Nov. 1, believes a stylish selection hand-picked by its staff can set it apart from online-only shoe merchants such as zappos.com and shoes.com, which offer a massive selection.

Charles Schwab profit soars 29 percent in quarter

Charles Schwab Corp.’s (SCHW) third-quarter profit surged 29 percent, extending a streak of robust earnings growth that has already propelled the discount stock brokerage to the most prosperous year in its history. It marked the sixth consecutive quarter in which the San Francisco company’s profit has climbed by at least 25 percent.

That still wasn’t enough to satisfy investors, who recently have been fretting that Schwab is headed toward an expensive pricing war to maintain its market share in the online brokerage industry, and Schwab shares fell 46cents, or 2.6 percent, to $17.10.

Wells Fargo donates $90,000 to dozens of S.F. schools

Nearly 50 schools in San Francisco will receive a financial boost from Wells Fargo Bank. At a community breakfast scheduled for 9 a.m. today, the San Francisco based bank will join public officials and donate more than $90,000 to more than four dozen schools. The forum will take place at Everett Middle School, 450 Church St. The amount includes money raised through Wells Fargo’s “Adopt a School” program, a community partnership created to financially help public schools. Wells Fargo has teamed up with other companies, such as radio station KNBR-AM (680), and Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria to assist the schools to overcome budget setbacks.

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