According to company representatives, Macy’s holiday season will result in hiring 85,000 temporary workers. This is a slightly lower figure than in 2014, when 86,000 employers joined the department store chain’s staff, in preparation for Christmas.
The additional employees will be placed in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, but also in the company’s distribution centers, call centers, and online fulfillment locations.
The upcoming hiring process is required because the highest revenues are achieved in the period which lasts between Thanksgiving and early January. American retailers usually take advantage of this frenetic shopping season, which boosts consumer demand and brings them around 20% of their annual sales, and up to 40% of their revenues.
Approximately 12,000 of Macy’s new vacancies concern direct-To-Customer Fulfillment, which includes activities such as e-commerce, order management, inventory control, returns and customer reporting.
New employees who will fulfill these job responsibilities are required in states like Arizona, Connecticut, and Oklahoma. This is a sharp increase from last year, when 10,000 people joined the retailer’s e-business operations.
In addition, 1,600 employees will be assigned to the company’s customer service centers, which carry out call center activities, but also maintain communication with clients through e-mails, faxes and live chat.
Approximately 1,000 staff members will be supporting Macy’s iconic events across the country, such as Santaland and the 88th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The announcement was made on Monday, just weeks after the company announced its second consecutive quarter of dwindling sales. Also, Macy’s recently revealed its plans to shut down between 35 and 40 stores at the beginning of 2016. Although they represent 5% of the chain’s total fleet, they are severely under-performing, to the point where they generate just 1% of its sales.
Executives have justified the company’s decline by listing a variety of contributing factors, such as heightened competition, slow economic growth, a drop in international tourism, and shifting consumer trends.
It is believed that, overall, customers are more inclined to spend their money on categories which are not targeted by the company, such as electronics, cars, travel and entertainment. In contrast, much less of their budget is dedicated to home decor and apparel, that Macy’s specializes in.
In comparison, however, rival department store Kohl’s has announced it would be hiring more than 69,000 associates for the holiday season, an increase of 3% since last year. According to company officials, the recruiting process has begun earlier this month, and will continue until mid-November.
Walmart and Target are also hiring, but they have maintained 2014 levels (60,000 and 70,000 seasonal employees, respectively). On the other hand, Toys R Us are adding 40, 000 new employees to their payroll, a significant drop since last year when 45,000 staff members joined the company.
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