Instead of preparing to break down on Black Friday and go crazy shopping before Christmas, many retailers and shipping companies are starting to hire staff in anticipation of the flow of online deliveries and pick-up orders.
, which has already hired more than 500,000 workers in stores and across its supply chain since March to meet growing pandemic demand, said on Wednesday it would hire more than 20,000 seasonal workers at e-commerce centers across the country. “to prepare for an expected increase in online shopping.” According to a spokesman, Walmart has stores that attract seasonal associates, but the last time Walmart hired a “large number of seasonal associates”
; was in 2015, when Walmart added 60 000 holiday shop workers.
Other companies are also preparing for a quick online purchase by adding delivery, warehousing and loading staff.
FedEx (FDX) said it would hire 70,000 workers, up 27% from last year UPS (UPS) said it would hire 100,000 seasonal workers, the same as last year’s rents. Retailer for flower delivery 1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS) will attract 10,000 employees to deliver bouquets to customers, which is 25% more than last year, and Michaels, the arts and crafts store, will add 16,000 seasonal jobs. This is about 6% compared to last year. Michaels (WHAT) said the jobs will help the chain, in particular, boost its online purchases, making in-store.
The overall employment forecast for this holiday season “remains uncertain”, but “it is clear that the share of online sales will reach record levels and this could lead to a lasting change in the future of holiday rental”, Andy Challenger, senior vice president at outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in an email.
In recent months, shoppers have been buying more goods online as they spend more and more time at home and limit their trips to the shops. E-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2020 increased by 31% to 211.5 billion dollars compared to the previous quarter, the Ministry of Commerce announced last month. E-commerce accounted for 16.1% of US retail sales in the last quarter compared to 11.8% in the previous quarter.
Deloitte predicted last week that e-commerce sales would grow between 25% and 35% from November to January to $ 196 billion compared to last year.
“E-commerce is likely to be a big winner, as consumers have shown a clear movement to shop online rather than in brick and mortar stores,” said Daniel Bachmann, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster in a research report last week.
It is not yet clear whether this year’s holiday rental will be able to match last year’s holiday pace in a developing economy.
“Traditional retailers are reluctant to commit to hiring targets for the holiday season, reflecting the precarious business environment they face, with unemployment, declining government incentives and changing consumer spending patterns,” Challenger said.
Traders added 702,000 jobs last holiday season, up 12% from the previous year, while the transport and warehousing sector added 295,000 jobs, up about 14% from the previous year, according to Challenger.
Other major retailers such as Amazon (AMZN) and Target (TGT) have not yet announced vacation plans.
On a spike (KSS),, Macy (M) and Pass (GPS), which together announced about 200,000 tenants for vacation last year, have not yet announced seasonal rents. All three fought the pandemic and announced job cuts. JCPenney (JCP), which filed for bankruptcy in July, hired 1,700 workers this year, after hiring 37,000 last year, according to Challenger.
Many clothing stores and department stores are shrinking instead of renting.
Since March, the clothing and accessories sector has cut 349,000 jobs. In total, the retail sector has lost 570,000 jobs since March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.