Everyone knows that stores need extra staff during the holiday shopping rush, but there is a big difference between carefully scheduling employees when and where they are needed and simply adding bodies to a store’s headcount. San Francisco-based beauty retailer Sephora has come up with a solution: The company is expanding its use of the Ceridian Dayforce workforce management platform to adjust holiday staffing according to both historical sales data and current trends.
“We forecast the entire quarter’s sales and payroll,” explained Gino Filice, IT manager of Sephora. “Store managers can also have influence and make detailed store-level forecasting suggestions.”
In addition to forecasting staffing needs based on anticipated sales and traffic levels by the quarter, Sephora also re-forecasts on a monthly basis two weeks before the month begins and then constantly adjusts during the month at the individual store level, with input from store managers.
“We use eyes on the ground,” said Filice. “We create a schedule a week ahead of time and then adjust it again midweek. By Wednesday, store traffic might be up 20% from Monday.”
Sephora began using Dayforce in 40 Canadian stores in 2012 and started applying it to holiday forecasting for the 2013 holiday season in July 2013.
“Our Canadian holiday business was phenomenal,” said Filice. “We were above and beyond other Canadian specialty cosmetic retailers.”
Based on that success, Sephora started creating 2014 holiday forecasts for its 355 U.S. and Puerto Rican stores with Dayforce in July of this year. In addition to helping better schedule existing employees, Sephora will also use the solution to assist in the hiring and scheduling of approximately 5,000 seasonal workers.
“We ramp up our workforce about 25 to 30% for the holidays,” said Filice.