Retail

Retail Holiday Hiring Reflects Focus On eCommerce, Speed

Retail Holiday Hiring Reflects Focus On eCommerce, Speed

With a greater emphasis on speed and online shopping, holiday hiring needs have changed amid shifting consumer preferences. Large retailers are set to hire approximately 790,000 seasonal workers this year in what would mark the second year of significant growth following years of stagnation, per data from the Challenger, Gray and Christmas outsourcing firm, CNBC reported.

The process began months ago and is ongoing in the current constricted labor market. Even so, the shift to online shopping means fewer positions. Nonsupervisory retail jobs decreased by approximately 23,000 in the past year, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retail jobs increased by 1.4 percent during the same timeframe.

Retail Consultant Jan Kniffen said, according to the outlet, “We’re hiring less customer-facing people and a lot more people who are doing something else to help the customer, taking care of ‘order online and pick up in-store,’ [or] curbside pickup. That requires a lot more people; they are doing the job the customer used to do.”

Some retailers are providing current employees with holiday hours. The Gap set out to hire 30,000 seasonal workers throughout its brands this year, but it also turned to its existing staff to offer more holiday hours. 

In separate news, Amazon recently announced it will hire 200,000 temp workers for the holiday season. The workers will handle tasks such as working the warehouses, packaging and making deliveries. The number of workers is two times the amount Amazon hired last year. The eCommerce firm said it needs the workers to help with its large logistics apparatus, including the transport of products from its warehouses to consumers’ homes. Amazon also said it promoted 19,000 people to supervisory roles. As of Sept. 30, the company said it had 750,000 full-time and part-time employees.

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