Special Report

Retailers Hiring the Most Employees for the Holidays

4. Kohl’s  (NYSE:
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 76,970
> Total employees: 32,000
> U.S. stores: 1,162

Kohl’s, the smallest general retail company on this list, describes itself as a company with a “commitment to family, value and national brands.” Like every other traditional retailer, it promotes the convenience of its website, which puts it — along with every other retailer — in competition with Amazon.com. Kohl’s formula has not helped it grow any faster than the industry as a whole, however. Revenue rose by just 0.6% in the last quarter to $4.3 billion.

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3. Walmart  (NYSE: WMT)
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 60,000
> Total employees: 2,200,000
> U.S. stores: 4,618

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, also has among the largest number of problems. Margins have been squeezed because of hourly pay increases for its permanent workers. However, that is not Walmart’s primary issue. It may be that Walmart is so large it can no longer grow in the United States. Walmart’s revenue growth over the last three years has been extremely modest. Its net income has been relatively flat for five years — and does not show a sign of recovery. Most of the large retailers on this list have 1,000 to 2,000 stores. Walmart has 4,618 stores. Even for a company as large an as ubiquitous as Walmart, holiday sales are a major component of its annual revenue. According to the company, its highest sales volume and operating income tend to occur in the fiscal quarter ending January 31.

2. Target   (NYSE: TGT)
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 70,000
> Total employees: 347,000
> U.S. stores: 1,799

Target is recovering from the huge credit card breach it suffered in late 2013 that affected 70 million Target customers. However, it also continues to struggle with its sales. Target’s revenue rose by only 2.8% in its most recently reported quarter to $17.4 billion. Comparable stores sales rose by only 2.4%. Target will use several promotions to draw shoppers during the holidays. One of these promotions, 10 Days of Black Friday, expands Black Friday deals from just one day, November 22, to 10 days through December 1. The other primary promotion is Target’s “Holiday Odyssey,” which has been created to highlight “top holiday toys and products,” according to the company.

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1. Amazon.com  (NASDAQ: AMZN)
> 2015 seasonal hires:
> 2014 seasonal hires: 80,000
> Total employees: 154,100
> U.S. stores: N/A

It is difficult to overstate Amazon.com’s success in the retail industry. Amazon.com reported revenue of $48 billion in 2011. In the most recent 12-months performance period, the retailer’s revenue reached just above $100 billion. During the same period, by contrast, Target’s revenue went from $69.9 billion to $73.6 billion. Amazon.com’s most obvious advantage over other retailers is that it does not have to maintain stores. However, it has huge fulfillment and sorting centers that get particularly busy during the holiday. Most of the temporary employees will work in such centers. Amazon.com’s other huge advantage is that it can bundle online retail with other services. The most highly promoted bundled service is Amazon.com’s Prime membership program. For $99 a year, customers get free shipping on many items, video streaming of tens of thousands of movies and television shows, and unlimited storage of photos.

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