Amazon is doubling down on hiring for the holiday. As supply chain congestion and a labor shortage continue to thrust the 2021 holiday season into a whirlwind of uncertainty, the e-commerce giant is hiring another 150,000 full- and part-time seasonal employees across its operations network.
In September, Amazon previously announced plans to hire over 125,000 full- and part-time fulfillment and transportation jobs, as well more than 40,000 new corporate and tech jobs. The hires come as Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Michaels and Dick’s Sporting Goods ramp up their seasonal teams.
“We are proud to be offering a huge range of full-time, part-time, and now seasonal jobs with great pay and benefits,” Alicia Boler Davis, senior vice president, global customer fulfillment, Amazon, said in a statement. “Our seasonal hiring helps us deliver on our promises to customers while also providing flexibility to our full-time employees during busy periods. Joining Amazon in one of our seasonal roles offers high-paying, part-time work, or a path to a full-time position, with benefits like our Career Choice program to help people advance their education and careers within Amazon or beyond.”
Like the September fulfillment hires, the newest employees will have an average starting pay of $18 per hour. All U.S. Amazon jobs also include signing bonuses of up to $3,000 and an additional $3 per hour depending on shifts in many locations.
Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing, shipping and more. New hires will be fully trained and all facilities follow strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols. The company has faced criticism throughout the pandemic for outbreaks that occurred at some warehouses and how it has handled the crisis.
Amazon’s (and other retailers’) holiday hiring goals are ambitious given the current state of employment, particularly in the retail industry. In September, retail saw an increase of 56,000 jobs, a major bounce back from a brutal August that saw more than 15,000 positions lost, according to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Despite the ongoing challenges in filling jobs in 2021, retailers are projected to hire 700,000 workers this holiday, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Walmart bricks back ‘Deals for Days’
Meanwhile, Walmart is bringing back its “Black Friday Deals for Days” sale through November. The return of the month-long event comes after Amazon already launched its own sales event in October that offers discounts on both its own private-label brands and top fashion labels like Tommy Hilfiger and Anne Klein, while Target brought back its similarly named “Deal Days” event from Oct. 10-12. Target’s event also kicked off the mass merchant’s holiday price matching initiative, which runs through Dec. 24.
For the peak season, Walmart is opting to add even more incentive for its Walmart+ members by giving them access to online deals four hours earlier.
“We continue to build Walmart+ to be the ultimate life hack for our customers,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “That means we’re there for our customers during the everyday with key benefits like free unlimited delivery from stores and free shipping with no order minimum, but it also means we create extra excitement for them during the big moments, like Black Friday. We’re excited for our Walmart+ members to be first in line for the hottest Black Friday deals out there.”
The $98-per-year program, positioned as a rival to Amazon Prime, enables shoppers to get free shipping on next-day and two-day delivery.
Like last year, Walmart will spread out its Black Friday savings to three events throughout November. Walmart said each savings event will offer consistent deals across both Walmart.com and Walmart stores.
“Our customers count on us to deliver an amazing Black Friday experience with the best prices year after year, and this year we’re making it even bigger and better with more ways to shop and more of every item,” Scott McCall, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “The team has worked hard to prepare for another outstanding holiday season, and no matter how or where our customers choose to shop—from the shelf in a store, ordering online and picking it up curbside or having it delivered to their front door—they can depend on us for a safe and convenient shopping experience.”
The first event will start online on Nov. 3 and continue in stores on Nov. 5, with deals specifically focused on toys and electronics during its first Black Friday event. Walmart+ members will get early access to deals from 3 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET.
Event No. 2 focuses specifically on categories including apparel, home goods, hardlines and more, and commences deals on Nov. 10 before launching them in stores Nov. 12. Just like in the first event, Walmart+ members can early access to deals in the same 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time frame that day.
Walmart did not provide dates or categories for the third and final sale, but highlighted that consumers can already shop “thousands” of deals today.
The retail giant is starting with Black Friday savings on select items starting Oct. 18 at 8:15 p.m. ET. Deals offered include a Ninja 4QT Air Fryer for $69, a 55” TCL Smart 4K UHD TV at $298, a Bounce Pro 14’ Trampoline at $184, and a Lego 442-piece Classic Bricks on a Roll at $20.
Alongside those deals, Walmart says it will continue to offer its classic “Rollback” discounts across stores and online.
Santa Claus is coming…to Macy’s
Macy’s is looking to spread the Christmas cheer as Santa Claus himself is making a return to the department store’s flagship locations for the 2021 holiday season.
Through Christmas Eve, Macy’s is setting up Santaland at its stores in Herald Square, New York, State Street, Chicago and Union Square, San Francisco in a contactless and socially distanced experience that must be booked online in advance.
The Chicago Santaland will open Nov. 6, while the New York and San Francisco Santaland events will begin on Nov. 26.
“Macy’s is the destination for holiday magic. For more than 160 years, Macy’s has enthralled generations with celebrations welcoming the holiday season. From a visit with the one-and-only Santa Claus to Macy’s Great Tree, animated windows and more, we are thrilled to bring the spirit of the season back to communities nationwide,” said Will Coss, vice president of branded entertainment, Macy’s. “We are particularly overjoyed for the return of in-person visits with Santa Claus at Macy’s Santaland in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. With the health and safety of our staff and guests as our top priority, a team of dedicated elves have taken several steps to produce an experience that is fun, whimsical and one that will create cherished memories long past the season.”