Booming E-Commerce Leads Amazon to Ramp Up Holiday Hiring

Amazon Inc. is feeling bullish about the holidays.

The e-tailing giant announced today its plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers in its customer fulfillment and customer service departments for the holiday season — a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

This is our favorite time of year — we love serving customers during the busy holiday season, and we’re excited to bring on more than 120,000 seasonal employees this year to support growing customer demand,” Mike Roth, Amazon VP of global customer fulfillment, said in a release.

Amazon said it was able to turn more than 14,000 seasonal positions last year into regular, full-time posts, and expects to also increase that number this year.

The news comes as a number of predominantly brick-and-mortar retailers announced their plans to either lower the number of seasonal workers they hire or keep it steady year-over-year. (Macy’s Inc., for example, is planning to hire 83,000 seasonal workers this year compared with 85,000 last year.)

Brick-and-mortar retailers are understandably skittish this year after an unseasonably warmer 2015 winter and increasing consumer shifts to online-only sites left them grappling with high inventories by early January.

Nevertheless, early holiday projections call for a better holiday season this time around.

Industry group the National Retail Federation predicts that holiday spending will increase 3.6 percent this year, topping $655 billion. Online sales are expected to climb 7 percent to 10 percent over last year’s results, reaching as much as $117 billion. The firm also said retailers would hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.

All of the fundamentals are in a good place, giving strength to consumers and leading us to believe that this will be a very positive holiday season,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said earlier this month.

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