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Retail Hiring Amps Up on Hopes of Big Holiday Season Sales

Gradual pick-up in economic activities with more people returning to their workplace, and record savings are likely to boost consumer spending activit...

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Retailers have turned the sand hourglass for the holiday season with as much zeal as shoppers looking forward to eye-popping deals. No wonder, the season, which accounts for a sizable chunk of yearly revenues, is a make or break for retailers. Quite evidently, retailers need to address any logistical or inventory issues and roll out strategies to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether offline or online. Well, keeping all these aspects in mind and to keep pace with any unprecedented increase in demand, retailers are unveiling hiring plans for the holiday season.



Taking into account consumers’ product preferences, retailers need to replenish shelves with in-demand merchandise and ramp up investments in digitization. This will result in deployment of a reasonable number of seasonal associates to deal with curbside and in-store pickup of online purchases as well as doorstep delivery. Additionally, retailers are likely to appoint more full-time and seasonal warehouse staff to ensure smooth supply of inventories to stores from distribution centers during the festive period.

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Who All Are Recruiting?

The retail behemoth, Walmart WMT, announced plans to appoint 20,000 new workers at more than 250 distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices. These job roles will be permanent, including order fillers, lift drivers, freight handlers, technicians and management positions. The positions will be offered in part-time and full-time options.



Walmart is focused on strengthening its supply chain, which plays a vital role in catering to customers. It has been taking several e-commerce initiatives, including buyouts, alliances, and improved delivery and payment systems to stay firm amid the rising competition from Amazon AMZN.



Meanwhile, Dollar General DG is looking to deploy more staff to fill positions in stores, distribution centers, the DG Private Fleet and Store Support Center. As part of DG Private Fleet recruiting, the company is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus to drivers with an active Commercial Driver’s License. Since mid-July, the discount retailer has employed more than 50,000 associates.



Kohl's Corporation KSS intends to recruit nearly 90,000 seasonal workers to cater to the high demand during this busy shopping period. The company is hiring workers for several roles at its stores, distribution centers and e-commerce fulfilment centers. DICK’S Sporting Goods DKS plans to hire about 10,000 seasonal workers — the highest in its history.



Earlier this month, Ollie's Bargain OLLI announced plans to recruit more than 3,000 associates for full-time, part-time, seasonal, and leadership positions across its 400 plus retail locations, and three distribution centers in York, PA; Commerce, GA; and Lancaster, TX. Moving on, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM FLWS revealed plans to appoint more than 10,000 seasonal workers for its gourmet foods and gift brands for the festive season.

Holiday Sales Projections

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, “Consumers and brands alike are gearing up for what’s anticipated to be the most wonderful holiday retail season on record.”



Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive and gas, are anticipated to increase 7.4% from a year earlier during the traditional holiday period that runs from Nov 1-Dec 24. With e-commerce still being one of the preferred modes for shopping, Mastercard SpendingPulse foresees online sales to rise by 7.6%.



The survey further projects year-over-year increase in sales for myriad categories — 45.9% for apparel, 13.2% for electronics, 59% for jewelry and 92.8% for luxury items (excluding jewelry). Department stores are likely to register sales growth of 14.8%, per the report.



Deloitte envisions holiday sales between $1.28 trillion and $1.3 trillion, which suggests an increase of 7-9% during the November-January period. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales are estimated to improve 11-15% to reach $210-$218 billion, per the consultancy firm.

Wrapping Up

Industry experts cited that gradual pick-up in economic activities with more people returning to their workplace, and record savings are likely to boost consumer spending activity this festive season. However, they cautioned about the impact of the Delta variant on traffic, supply chain bottlenecks, rising freight charges and labor shortages. At the moment, consumers should brace for lesser discounts and shipping delays this holiday season.



Challenges might persist but retailers are finding innovative ways to make the most of the season. Companies are increasing product visibility on online platforms, enhancing customer engagement on social channels and making logistics improvements.



Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential

In the past few years, many popular platforms and like Uber and Airbnb finally made their way to the public markets. But the biggest paydays came from lesser-known names.

For example, electric carmaker X Peng shot up +299.4% in just 2 months. Think of it this way…

If you had put $5,000 into XPEV at its IPO in September 2020, you could have cashed out with $19,970 in November.

With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year’s lineup could be even more lucrative.

See Zacks Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>



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