Amazon Is Bulking Up Its Workforce For The Holidays

Amazon will be employing 120,000 workers to staff its fulfillment centers come the holiday season. This comes as sales are growing briskly, and Amazon is anticipating a larger pick-up in demand this holiday season. The 120,0000 new workers are a 20 percent increase on the 100,000 Amazon brought into fill out its holiday ranks last year.

“This increase highlights Amazon’s dominance, as other U.S. retailers have announced holiday hiring plans which are consistent or lower than their plans from last year,” said Ohad Hagai, vice president of marketing at automatic repricing services platform vendor Feedvisor. “Amazon’s third-party [marketplace] sellers should expect a strong Q4 and should make sure they have everything in place to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Amazon saw its overall sales grow by 30 percent during Q2 — at a time when its “real-world” rivals are struggling to notch 1 or 2 percent growth rates.

“There’s several ways you increase your capacity — you increase your fulfillment centers and automation [in fulfillment centers],” Scot Wingo, executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, said. Amazon also constantly works on the software to make its fulfillment centers more efficient, noted Wingo.

Wingo said he expects Amazon to have six or seven new fulfillment centers up and running in time for the holidays, which should help the retailer deal with the expected influx in orders.

“The people they’re adding, plus the automation, plus the new fulfillment centers, could hopefully get them to the 30 percent capability,” he said, referring to his projection that Amazon’s holiday sales will increase as much as 30 percent.

Amazon, while fast to the field in many other regards, is a bit late to the gate when it comes to announcing its holiday hiring plans. Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target and Walmart were all out and about trying to bulk up their workforces for the season. Experts are predicting that retailers might have some trouble filling seasonal associate and warehouse worker positions this season, as an improved economy has left fewer workers looking for extra work (or work at all) during the holiday season.