Retail

Retailers Hiring More Online Support Staff For Holidays

The holiday season is just around the corner, which means retailers will be hiring temporary workers during their busy time of the year.

According to a report, U.S. retailers will hire around 738,800 part-time workers starting in October, which Challenger, Gray & Christmas said is on par with 2015. But while retailers will do the lion’s share of hiring, it turns out it’s not for their store floors and cash registers. Rather, the hiring is for the warehouses and fulfillment centers that support eCommerce sales.

Take Target, for one example. It said it will hire 70,000, which is in line with last year’s levels. Target said hiring for the warehouses and fulfillment centers for its online sales will increase to 7,500 people. The other retailers haven’t announced their hiring plans yet, but Fortune said Target’s announcement is a sign that a growing trend of increasing warehouse staff during the holidays will continue. The report pointed to Macy’s, which last year lowered its in-store hiring but increased its part-time eCommerce fulfillment staff by 20 percent to 12,000 people. Amazon doubled its holiday season hiring between 2012 and 2015.

“The sector with the biggest increase in holiday hiring in recent years has been transportation and warehousing, as more and more holiday shopping is done online,” Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger said in the report.

The move on the part of the retailers to hire more staff during the holidays to support online orders shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the increase in sales online. Retailers still do most of their business in their stores, but the internet is becoming an increasingly important channel, one on which they need to focus given Amazon’s dominance. Target told Fortune it would equip more than 1,000 of its stores to help ship online orders, up from 460 last holiday season, while Walmart is opening more distribution centers.

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