Of the 76,000 employees Macy’s Inc. plans to hire this holiday season, roughly 28,000 are expected to be permanent full- and part-time positions. More than 6,000 workers joined as permanent employees after last year’s holiday season, the company noted.
The retailer describes its workforce as the “foundation of the best-in-class shopping experience that customers know and love from our brands, whether they’re shopping in store, online or on our mobile apps,” Danielle Kirgan, Macy’s chief transformation and human resources officer, said, adding that the company offers “ample opportunities and resources to grow in a dynamic, collaborative and inclusive environment during the holidays and every day of the year.”
Industry consultants from Bain to Deloitte to Mastercard expect retail sales growth in the neighborhood of 7 percent this holiday, fueled in part by a season that should be more celebratory that last year’s covid-crippled compromise. Vaccinations make the prospect of gathering with friends and family less risky, though rising infections linked to the delta variant could drive some who resumed brick-and-mortar shopping back to the safety of digital shopping, curbside pickup and same-day delivery.
A new Pitney Bowes survey underscores the shifts underway heading into the festive season. In addition to the one in three consumers who cited Covid as the reason why they plan to start their holiday gift-gathering online, another one in four expressed plans to pull back on in-store shopping altogether, a 16 percent rise from May’s survey. What’s more, 41 percent plan to do more of their holiday shopping online, a break from their current shopping behaviors.
The hiring plan at Macy’s Inc. dovetails with these trends. Of note, 21,200 roles are earmarked for fulfillment centers, where openings call for employees to receive, sort, pick and pack, and ship digital orders. The bulk of positions focus on store roles “critical to the customer shopping experience,” with 50,000, 4,100 and 315 new hires planned for Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Bluemercury, respectively.
“The majority of these roles are on the customer sales and experience team as well as within merchandising and operations,” it added.
Macy’s Credit and Customer Service unit is seeking 300 prospects to support the digital and in-store shopping experience and manage relationships with its omnichannel and credit cardholder customers. More than 200 technology-based openings center on enhancing omnichannel.
Since 2010, Macy’s seasonal recruitment efforts have ranged from 65,000 to 86,000, with a rising share going toward digital fulfilment in tandem with the growth of e-commerce and modern shopping models.
Others, too, are bolstering their supply chain ranks to meet surging digital demand. Earlier this month, Walmart revealed plans to hire 20,000 supply chain workers supporting more than 250 Walmart and Sam’s Club distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices—with full benefits.
Dollar General is looking for store employees, truck drivers for its company-owned fleet, and store support center staff. The dollar store has hired over 50,000 employees since mid-July and rival Dollar Tree is seeking everything from warehouse workers to store managers.
Elsewhere in the industry, retailer are gearing up for what could be an early start to the holiday season over inventory shortage concerns and delayed merchandise receipts due to port congestion.
Amazon plans to hire 125,000 permanent warehouse and logistics workers in the U.K. Kohl’s intends to hire 90,000 seasonal store and warehouse workers, with some staffing its new e-commerce fulfillment center in Etna, Ohio.
Gap Inc. has yet to announced its holiday hiring plans. Target on Thursday announced plans to hire 100,000 seasonal store employees, fewer than the 130,000 temporary workers it added last year. The mass merchant will deploy more personnel toward store-based fulfillment services like its popular drive-up and order pick-up services during the year-end rush. Some of the temporary hires will have the chance to stay on after the holidays, it said.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco clothing retailer added 50,000 temporary positions last year at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Intermix stores. Gap pared down operations in May of this year when it said it would sell its specialty chain Intermix to the private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners.
Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.