SAN FRANCISCO: Omnichannel services will be given a major lift at Gap, the US clothing retailer, after it announced plans to test a new order-in-store facility and to expand its existing reserve-in-store service.

As part of a presentation to analysts last week, Gap said it wanted all its stores in the US to offer a reserve-in-store service by the end of the second quarter for online and mobile customers. This service will also be available at of the company's Brand Republic stores.

Gap's new order-in-store service, which forms part of the company's bid to merge online and in-store operations, is designed to stem the estimated 70% of shoppers who leave its stores without making a purchase, RetailWire reported.

The service will allow customers to order goods from Gap's online catalogue at its brick-and-mortar stores and the company also plans to have shop assistants on hand to help with the transactions.

Speaking in February about the company's plans to raise the minimum hourly rate for its staff to $9 this year and $10 in 2015, Gap chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said: "We've got to get better people in our store because order-in-store needs a higher calibre individual in our stores to close the deal."

Art Peck, Gap's president of growth, innovation and digital, went on to describe the initiative as "a big conversation opportunity" with its customers.

He also told investors that just under 500,000 reservations had been made since Gap's reserve-in-store service was launched last June, ABC reported, and said the service had helped to drive higher transactions.

Gap is also looking to expand abroad and sees China as the market with the greatest growth potential. It plans to open another 30 Gap stores in China this fiscal year to complement its existing estate of 81 stores.

Data sourced from RetailWire, ABC; additional content by Warc staff