OPERATIONS

A retail holiday hiring scorecard

BY Mike Troy

Before retailers compete for holiday sales they are competing for seasonal talent that will have a big impact on their performance. Here’s a look at whose hiring season help and how many positions are being filled.

Between 700,000 and 750,000 new seasonal positions will be filled this holiday season as retailer bolster their ranks to deal with the surge of activity online and in-stores, according to the National Retail Federation. The number of seasonal hires this year is among the highest level seen at any time in the past 15 years, according to NRF data. Those that have publicly announced seasonal hiring plans listed in descending order include:

Amazon.com: The e-commerce expects to achieve record sales growth this holiday season and to keep pace with surging volume plans to 100,000 positions, a 25% increase from the prior year, at domestic facilities.

UPS: Although not a retailer, the volume of workers being hired at the nation’s largest carrier, between 90,000 and 95,000, is noteworthy because of what it says about e-commerce trends.

Macy’s: A total of 85,000 seasonal jobs will be filled at Macy’s and its Bloomindale’s stores this season, roughly the same as last year. One area where an increase is planned is in the department store retailer’s e-commerce fulfillment centers where seasonal hires will increase to 12,000 positions from 10,000 last year.

Target: Target plans to hire an additional 70,000 team members for the holiday season.

Kohl’s: An average of about 50 employees will be hired at each of Kohl’s nearly 1,200 stores for a total of 69,000 seasonal workers. Another 9,500 positions will be added at distribution and e-commerce fulfillment centers as Kohl’s has been busy improving its omnichannel capabilities.

Walmart: Given its size, Walmart’s seasonal hiring is relatively muted compared to some significantly smaller competitors.

Toys “R” Us: The leading toy and children’s retailer is hiring a lot of seasonal workers, 45,000, but that is down from 40,000 last year.

J.C. Penney: The department store retailer just eliminated about 300 jobs as its headquarters, but prior to that announced plans to hire 30,000 seasonal workers, less that the 35,000 hired the previous year thanks to a store base which shrank by 40 units.

GameStop: Gaming is a hot holiday category which is why GameStop said it will hire 28,000 seasonal employees, 12% more than last year.

FedEx: In addition to increased hours for existing employees, FedEx said it would add approximately 20,000 seasonal positions, roughly the same as last year.

The Bon-Ton Stores: 13,500, 13 in stores, 500 in DCs.

Nordstrom: The upscale department store operator is filling 11,800 positions, of which 1,600 will be located in e-commerce fulfillment centers, compared to 10,000 last year.

Burlington Stores: 10,800

Belk: Like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Kohl’s, regional department store operator Belk is planning on a digital Christmas with 1,800 of its 5,800 planned seasonal hires dedicated to omnichannel activities such as in-store fulfillment of online orders.

Sports Authority: 3,500

While the number of hires varies widely among retailers, they have one thing in common. The companies are touting the jobs as a way for workers to get their foot in the door to begin a career in the retail industry.

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