Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) may have recently said that star CEO Glenn Murphy would not renew his contract with the company and will retire in February, but Gap and its brands apparently plan to make a big push this holiday season. Gap issued a press release signaling that it plans to hire 63,000 workers for the 2014 holiday season among its brands, call centers and distribution centers.
It is not unusual for companies to announce seasonal hiring for the fourth quarter rush. Still, this is one of the largest influxes of any major retailer — it is more seasonal hires than Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT)!
Gap’s annual report for 2013 that was released in February of 2014 shows that Gap as a total company had roughly 135,000 employees. The key facts on Gap’s own corporate site indicates almost 140,000 employees.
24/7 Wall St. recently featured the retailers that would be hiring the most seasonal employees for the 2014 holiday season. We have confirmed that Wal-Mart’s hiring expectation would be 60,000 in 2014. The difference is that Wal-Mart has a whopping 2.2 million or so employees.
Here is another interesting factoid: Walmart’s market cap is around $252 billion, versus just under $16 billion for Gap.
Gap’s press release said:
Seasonal positions will vary from serving the many customers on the selling floor at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta stores — to handling the high volume of calls at the call centers and coordinating shipments from the distribution centers to stores and directly to customers who’ve purchased via mobile devices, online or in store.
Hiring employees for the holidays may not be an indicator for a full year, but hiring of this magnitude certainly does not sound like Gap is expecting a poor round of holiday sales. What does it tell you when a company the size of Gap plans to add more seasonal workers than Walmart?
Gap shares were up 1.4% at $36.57 in mid-Tuesday trading. Keep in mind that Gap shares were up around $42 prior to the news that Murphy would be leaving as CEO. Analysts have a consensus price target of $43.10 for Gap’s stock.
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