MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Retailers paying more for holiday help

BY Marianne Wilson

As the holiday season kicks into gear, retailers' seasonal hiring plans are coming into focus.

Fifty percent retailers are hiring seasonal employees, on par with last year (49%), according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder. Retailers are becoming more competitive in terms of what they are willing to pay seasonal workers. Two-thirds (66%) of retailers who are hiring holiday workers will pay them $10 or more per hour, a big jump from 53% in 2016 and 43% in 2015.

"Our survey is pointing to a significant year-over-year gain in permanent hiring and a smaller boost in seasonal hiring in Q4, though the short-term effects of hurricane damage on the U.S. mainland remain to be seen," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "One of the most telling trends from our research is the fact that many employers are willing to increase pay for both permanent and seasonal staff. This speaks to the sharpening competitive dynamic among employers that we have seen throughout 2017."

The survey also found that the percentage of employers who are transitioning seasonal employees into permanent staff has reached a new high (70%) and has grown at an accelerated rate over the last few years. Looking across industries, 35% of employers are planning to have extra hands on deck to help with increased demands over the holidays, wrap up the year or ramp up for 2018.

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FINANCE

Costco ends year on an upbeat note

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco Wholesale Club reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its fourth quarter.

Net sales for the 17-week fourth quarter ended Sept. 3 rose 15.8% to $41.36 billion from $35.73 billion in year-ago period, which had 16 weeks. Total same-store sales rose 6.1%, with a 6.5% increase in the U.S. and a 4.9% increase in Canada. International same-store sales rose 5.6%

E-commerce sales in the quarter were up 21%. Membership fees rose 13% to $943 million.

Costco's net income for the quarter was $919 million, or $2.08 per diluted share, compared to $779 million, or $1.77 per diluted share, last year.

Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year rose 8.7% to $126.17 billion. Net income was $2.68 billion, or $6.08 per diluted share, compared to $2.35 billion, or $5.33 per diluted share, last year.

Costco ended its fiscal year with 741 warehouses in operation, including 514 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 97 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, nine in Australia, two in Spain, one in France and one in Iceland. The company also operates e-commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.

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ECOMMERCE

Report: Amazon tries its hand at a different kind of pop-up

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon is preparing for its newest physical store — and promoting its alcoholic products at the same time.

The online giant is opening a pop-up bar in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The location, which will be open for 10 days, will sell beer, wine, sake and cocktails sold on its Japanese website, as well as exclusive products and samples not yet for sale, according to Bloomberg.

An ordering system will suggest drinks, while sommeliers will offer wine advice. The pop-up bar will open on Oct. 20, the report said.

The pop-up concept coincides with Amazon’s efforts to boost its physical presence, especially in the United States. With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, the e-retailer added more than 400 grocery stores to its physical retailing network. It also operates a growing chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores, AmazonFresh pickup stations, and cashier-free Amazon Go convenience stores operating in Seattle.

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