Major retailers and shipping companies are expected to hire some 738,800 temporary workers to meet increased demand during the holiday shopping rush, according to estimates from staffing experts Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Macy’s, UPS, and Amazon have already announced plans to hire tens of thousands of seasonal workers, with others, including Wal-Mart, yet to announce exact figures.
Online shopping continues to cut into sales of brick-and-mortar retailers on this list. Indicative of this is the fact that this year’s largest hirer of seasonal workers will likely not be Wal-Mart but Amazon, which is set to hire 120,000 seasonal workers — double Wal-Mart’s holiday hires last year. Most of these seasonal workers will be let go when the shopping season ends. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 13 companies hiring the most employees this holiday shopping season.
Americans have historically done much of their holiday shopping at department stores such as Macy’s and Wal-mart. In recent years, however, online retailers such as Amazon have become a popular alternative. According to a study published this year by consulting firm Deloitte, 47% of consumers plan to spend as much online as they will in stores.
The increasing popularity of online shopping is apparent during the holidays, by far the busiest shopping period of the year. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, kicks off the holiday shopping season with the biggest single day for retailers. However, some have been staying at home, waiting for online deals the following Monday, or Cyber Monday, as it is now called. To cover the expected additional sales, Amazon plans to hire 20,000 more seasonal workers than it did last year.
The growing popularity of online shopping is also largely responsible for the increased seasonal hiring at shipping companies such as FedEx and UPS. According to John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, “The sector with the biggest increase in holiday hiring in recent years has been transportation and warehousing, as more and more holiday shopping is done online.”
With the continued success of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling. Macy’s profits declined by 30% last year, and J.C. Penney has reported a net loss in each of the past three years, shaking shareholder confidence. Macy’s stock is currently trading at less than half its 10-year high, and J.C. Penney stock has lost nearly 90% of its value over the last decade.
To identify the retailers adding the most seasonal jobs for the 2016 holiday, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the announced holiday hires of top retailers based on revenue in the Retail 100. Because their businesses are so closely related to retail, we also examined seasonal job additions at FedEx and UPS. Financial data were obtained from financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when available. Store counts are all customer-facing U.S. locations operated by the company.
Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this piece, it was implied that Wal-Mart had begun to hire new workers to fill positions as “holiday helpers.” Rather, the company is reassigning other current staff to fill these positions.
These are the retailers hiring the most this holiday season.