By Vicki Needham - 02/19/14 06:55 PM EST
Long-established clothing store chain Gap is planning to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2015.
The San Francisco-based company, which opened its first store in 1969, announced Wednesday that it will step up its minimum hourly wage to $9 this year and then bump it up another dollar next year, affecting about 65,000 store employees.
President Obama, who pressed again to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in his State of the Union address, applauded the company for heeding his call to do what it can to raise wages outside of federal legislation.
Obama recently signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees at least $10.10 an hour.
In addition, many states are taking steps on their own to raise hourly minimum wages.
But only action from Congress can make a difference nationwide," Obama said in a statement.
"Right now, there is a bill in front of both the House and the Senate that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and lift wages for more than 16 million workers, all without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending," he said.
"It’s time to pass that bill and give America a raise."