ECOMMERCE

UPS kicks off holiday hiring spree

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

UPS is ramping up its holiday workforce.

The company plans to hire approximately 95,000 seasonal employees to support an anticipated increase in package shipments during the 2017 holiday shopping season. UPS expects increased delivery volume to span between early November and January 2018.

This marks the fourth straight year that UPS is hiring this number of employees for the holiday season, according to Reuters.

Candidates will fill jobs such as package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers. All jobs are available as both full-time and part-time positions.

Over the last three years, 35% of the people UPS hired for seasonal package handler jobs were later hired in a permanent position when the holidays were over, according to the company.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Licensing agreement helps teen retailer expand into India

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

American Eagle Outfitters is entering an emerging global retail market.

The teen retailer is preparing for its debut in India. American Eagle’s expansion will be supported through a multi-year license agreement with the Aditya Birla Group. The Indian conglomerate has an extensive retail portfolio, as well as strong digital and omnichannel capabilities.

The first stores are expected to open in Mumbai and Delhi in Spring 2018.

“India’s rapidly developing and vibrant economy, anchored by the world’s largest youth population, provides an exciting growth opportunity for our brands, expanding our global reach,” commented Andrew McLean, executive VP — global commercial operations, American Eagle. “Aditya Birla brings deep market experience and extensive retail capabilities, giving us a strong platform to deliver our leading AE jeans collections and casual American style to India’s growing market.”

The new expansion comes on the heels of the retailer’s recent decision to pull the plug on another international operation: its U.K.-based business. The specialty retailer operated three stores in the U.K., as well as a British e-commerce site.

Looking ahead to the remainder of fiscal 2017, American Eagle plans to open 35 American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie stores throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It also plans to close between 25 and 40 store locations.

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News

Discount giant will rely on its own workforce for holiday rush

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart is bucking the holiday hiring trend again this year.

Unlike other competitors that are hiring thousands of temporary workers to service shoppers during the holiday season, the discount giant plans to offer extra hours to its current associates. These shifts will staff traditional roles like cashier and stocker, and newly created technology-empowered positions, such as personal shoppers and Pickup associates, according to Walmart.

“This is the same approach we took last year, and we heard great feedback from our customers and associates,” said Judith McKenna, executive VP and COO, Walmart U.S.

While this is the second year Walmart is pursuing this model, the program has been evolving for some time. In 2015, the discounter committed to hiring 60,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season, but there was a caveat. Before making any new hires, Walmart gave its current employees first dibs on working additional hours during the holiday season.

To ensure its existing workforce is prepared for the upcoming holiday rush, Walmart is offering new training, tools and technology.

“Thousands of associates have completed training in our Pathways and Academy programs, which prepares them to more effectively serve customers, especially during this busy season,” McKenna said.

Walmart also plans to revive its "Holiday Helper" initiative. Armed with candy canes and Santa hats, these employees help customers find the shortest line and open registers, and also quickly grab items customers might have forgotten.

Walmart will be increasing the number of Helpers available in stores this season, the retailer said.

The discounter’s decision to forego a holiday hiring spree contradicts efforts by other retailers. For example, Target plans to hire approximately 100,000 employees for the upcoming holiday season — a 40% increase from last year. Additionally, the retailer will hire 4,500 workers at its distribution and fulfillment centers to replenish products to stores and fulfill digital sales throughout the season.

Similarly, Macy’s plans to hire a total of 80,000 workers for the holiday rush. However, this is down slightly from about 83,000 last year.

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