Retailer Target Corp said on Tuesday it was planning to hire more than 130,000 store employees for the holiday season, 10,000 more than last year, as it gears up for the crucial shopping period when in-store and online orders surge.
The holiday season marks the busiest time of the year for retailers, making up for a majority of their annual sales, and includes Black Friday, Christmas and New Year. This year's shopping period is the shortest since 2013.
The hiring plans often indicate the sales expectations of retailers and come against the backdrop recession worries and softening retail job environment.
Temporary Hiring Plans
Target, one of the first retailers to layout its temporary hiring plans, said it would deploy about 125,000 employees at its more than 1,800 stores and 8,000 at its distribution and fulfillment centres.
United Parcel Service Inc, the world's biggest parcel delivery firm, said on Monday it was planning to hire 100,000 holiday workers, the same number as last year, hinting at a softening in the US consumer economy.
Retail employment contracted for a seventh straight month in August to hit the lowest level since January 2016. Department store jobs, which have been hard hit by online competition, sunk to the lowest point since the federal government started tracking the data in 1990.
Target's holiday hiring will begin in October, while department store operator Kohl's Corp said in July that it was hiring for "an early wave of seasonal positions across 500 stores."
Amazon.com said on Monday it is starting to hire for tens of thousands of seasonal roles in the coming weeks.
Target's roughly 8% rise in holiday hiring is much lower than the 20% increase a year earlier and a 43% jump in 2017.
Impact Of Digital Sales
Janet Kloppenburg, president at retail research firm JJK Research Associates, said a rise in digital sales reduces the need for incremental store payroll for retailers.
Retailers have been investing more on their websites and mobile apps as consumers prefer to shop online and have it delivered to their doorstep or pick up in stores.
Target said it would pay workers $13 for an hour, a wage that it has been paying employees since June.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.