Macy's is increasing the number of temporary workers it's hiring for distribution and warehouses for the holiday season as it chases fast growing e-commerce sales. But overall holiday hiring will fall nearly 4 percent.
Macy's says it will be hiring 18,000 workers to fulfill online orders and other tasks at warehouses devoted to e-commerce operations. That's an increase of 3,000 from a year ago. Overall, Macy's temporary hiring is expected at 80,000, down from 83,000 a year ago.
The overall decline contrasts with rival Target Corp., which announced earlier this week that it was hiring 100,000 people to work at its stores, an increase of 40 percent from a year ago. The retailer also plans to hire 4,500 workers to help pack and ship online orders at its warehouses.
Many other major retailers including Amazon, J.C. Penney and Kohl's have not made their holiday plans public yet.
Hiring plans provide hints to a store's expectations for the holiday season, which accounts for 20 percent of all retail sales during the year, according to the National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group.
Like all department stores, Macy's has wrestled with weak sales as customers go online and also increasingly spend money on things other than clothing. It's facing competition there as well however, as Amazon, digs deeper into fashion. Macy's has six St. Louis area department stores.
Meanwhile, the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., which operates Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner's, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers stores, plans to hire 10,000 associates for all its store locations to service customers during the busy holiday season. The company is also hiring 500 additional associates for all of its distribution centers and its e-commerce fulfillment center.
All positions include an immediate 20 percent shopping discount, one-on-one training, and an opportunity to transition to long term employment when the season ends.
"Bon-Ton plans to increase our staffing for the holiday season so we can provide an exceptional shopping experience to our customers," said Bill Tracy, president and CEO, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "Hiring additional staffing will ensure we deliver fast, friendly service and meet customer expectations in our stores as well as online."