Does aggressive seasonal hiring portend a merry retailing Christmas?
Holiday hiring has already begun and some experts are taking announcements of increased seasonal hiring numbers as a sign that there will be a strong job market this Christmas season.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ rundown of retailer hiring estimates so far indicates that, despite store closures and price cuts this year, there may be higher demand for seasonal jobs:
- Target announced that it will be hiring 100,000 employees to work at stores during the holiday season as well as 4,500 to staff the distribution centers and fulfillment facilities. The number of store staff marks a significant increase from last year’s 77,500;
- Michael’s says it will hire 15,000 workers for the holidays;
- 1-800-Flowers has announced it will be adding 8,000 seasonal employees, representing a quadrupling of its workforce, according to a press release;
- Williams-Sonoma will be bringing on 2,000 seasonal employees;
- Plow & Hearth will be hiring 400.
Other than Target, none of those listed appeared on Challenger, Gray & Christmas’s 2016 list of seasonal hiring announcements the previous year.
While Target’s seasonal hiring shows an across-the-board increase, other retailers are hiring fewer than in recent years.
Struggling department store chain Bon-Ton is hiring 10,000 seasonal employees, around 3,000 fewer than last year, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The chain plans to hire 500 additional seasonal workers for e-commerce fulfillment and distribution centers. Bon-Ton is, however, taking steps to incentivize potential employees by offering a 20 percent discount on merchandise, as well as the potential to go long-term after the holiday season.
While the count of seasonal hires at Macy’s is down from 83,000 last year to this year’s 80,000, Macy’s is operating 70 fewer stores. And despite the overall drop, the chain is increasing the number of staff it is using to handle e-commerce in stores and in distribution centers by 20 percent.
- 2017 Holiday Hiring Outlook: Retailers Signal Hot Job Market – Challenger, Gray & Christmas
- 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. To Hire 8,000 Seasonal Employees Across Its Family Of Brands, Nearly Quadrupling Its Workforce As It Gears Up For The Holidays – PR Newswire
- Bon-Ton Stores Inc. to hire 10,000 holiday season workers – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- They’re Hiring–Macy’s Will Take on 80,000 Workers for the Holidays – Fortune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do this year’s hiring numbers indicate about the state of retail heading into the Christmas selling season? How many jobs do you expect will become long-term after the season? Should retailers err on the side of over-hiring to insure good in-store experiences during the holidays?