Target, UPS Set Seasonal Hiring Plans

It’s nearly that time of year again. Now that back-to-school shopping is behind us, U.S. retailers are looking ahead to the holiday season, which generates as much as 30% of annual sales for some of them.

The holiday shopping frenzy also generates a lot of temporary seasonal jobs. According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, seasonal retail hiring totaled around 700,000 jobs last year.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) began hiring seasonal workers for about 500 of its stores in July and at the rest in August. The company did not say how many seasonal workers it planned to hire this year, but last year’s total ran to around 90,000.

On Monday, United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) announced that it planned to hire about 100,000 seasonal workers this year, equal to the number it hired in 2018. Jim Barber, UPS’s chief operating officer, commented: “We expect another record Peak season this year, with daily package deliveries nearly doubling compared to our average of 20 million per day.”

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) said Tuesday that it plans to hire 130,000 seasonal employees this year, about 10,000 more than it hired last year. Without specifying a number, the company said it planned to double the number of new hires who will be fulfilling digital orders from its brick-and-mortar stores.

Target’s chief human resources officer, Melissa Kremer, said: “It’s critical we build the right team across our stores and supply chain to deliver an exceptional holiday experience for our guests during the busiest time of the year.”

The company expects about 125,000 of the jobs to be added at its more than 1,800 stores. Included in that number are jobs filling orders placed online with specific stores. Another 8,000 jobs will be filled at Target’s distribution and fulfillment centers.

Of the thousands of seasonal workers UPS and Target hired last year, about a third of UPS and more than 40% of Target seasonal workers stayed with the companies as permanent employees. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which hired about 100,000 temporary seasonal employees last year, recently kicked off a program to hire around 30,000 full-time employees by early 2020 in positions ranging from software engineers to warehouse workers. These jobs are being filled in addition to whatever number the company comes up with for its seasonal hiring program.