Special Report

Retailers Hiring the Most Employees for the Holidays

10. Fedex (NYSE: FDX)
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 50,000
> Total employees: 246,000
> U.S. stores: N/A

FedEx’s only significant competition other than UPS is the U.S. Postal Service. The company’s business is unusually strong. In the most recently reported quarter, revenue rose to $12.3 billion from $11.7 billion in the same period a year ago. Fedex also demonstrated that it has price leverage with its customers, raising most of its rates by 4.9%. The increase will not be tested during the holiday though, going into effect on January 4, 2016. Like UPS, Fedex expects a large increase in holiday shipments, which it expects to rise by 12.4% from last year to 317 million packages this season.

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> 2015 seasonal hires:
90,000 to 95,000
> 2014 seasonal hires: 95,000
> Total employees: 237,300
> U.S. stores: N/A

UPS and Fedex are entirely unlike the other companies on this list. They are service providers to the retail industry, rather than competitors. This means that their needs to grow their staff during the holiday season is dependent on retail sales activity. UPS expects an extraordinary holiday season, which may be a good sign for the retailer industry overall. The company said it expects to handle 630 million parcels between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve. That is an increase of more than 10% compared to the holiday deliveries during the same period last year.

8. J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP)
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 35,000
> Total employees: 114,000
> U.S. stores: 1,063

J.C. Penney is one of the few large traditional retailers that can claim it has made a major turnaround. Under former Apple head of retail Ron Johnson, who was named Penney CEO in November 2011, the retailer suffered sales losses of well over 20%. The new CEO, Marvin Ellison, has overseen a return to impressive same-store sales and revenue improvement. In its most recently reported quarter, same-store sales rose 4.1% and revenue rose to $2.9 billion from $2.8 billion in the same quarter the year before. Penney offered positive guidance for the balance of the year. Penney’s stock is also an outlier among traditional retailers, up 32% so far this year. J.C. Penney announced this month its Black Friday holiday sale will begin at 3 pm on Thanksgiving

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