There is a chill in the air, and even though Halloween is several weeks away, Americans are starting to think about holiday shopping, as retailers complete their hiring plans.
The onset of online shopping has reduced job opportunities in certain segments of retail. Last year, seasonal retail employment increased by 641,000 during the final three months of the year, according to outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the lowest number since the 495,800 retail hires announced in the final months of 2009, as the recession ended. The holiday hiring pace in 2017 would have to accelerate to match the hiring average of 604,000 since 2012, according to Challenger tracking.
E-commerce colossus Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced on October 13 that it would hire about 120,000 people for the holiday shopping season to work at its customer service sites and fulfillment centers. Amazon hired 120,000 seasonal workers last year.
Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) plans to hire 100,000 seasonal positions for the holidays, up from the 77,500 fulfillment and warehouse workers who were hired last year. About a third of seasonal employees are hired permanently, according to a spokesperson.
Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) has been struggling and has announced store closings. However, the department store chain plans to hire about 80,000 temporary workers at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide. This is slightly down from the 83,000 the department store chain hired a year ago.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is hiring 40,000 seasonal employees this year, the same total as last year. Jobs include cashiers, makeup consultants and salon stylists. The company is hosting a national hiring event today.
Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September, but the toy vendor still plans to hire 12,500 holiday workers, according Challenger. Those jobs include positions at distribution centers and in-store jobs such as cashiers.
Bon-Ton Stores said it will add 10,000 holiday workers this year, down from the 13,500 it added a year ago.
Other retailers of note that are hiring include arts and crafts chain Michaels, which announced plans to hire 15,000 holiday workers. 1-800-Flowers plans to add 8,000 seasonal workers for the 2017 holiday season.
Two large retailers don’t plan on adding jobs but intend to offer more hours to existing staff. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) plans to offer more hours to current workers this holiday season, the same strategy as last year.
At Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS), the retailer plans to give current employees more hours this holiday season at distribution centers and e-commerce fulfillment centers around the United States. Kohl’s hired 69,000 seasonal workers last year.
Shipping companies announced hiring plans as well. UPS intends to bring on 95,000 seasonal workers, the same total as a year ago. FedEx plans to hire 50,000 more employees this holiday season, matching the total from a year ago. The jobs include package handlers and drivers.