Retailers Like Target and Macy’s Are Hiring More Holiday Workers — but Not For Their Stores

Trend alert: Retailers are putting more resources behind e-commerce.

Sure, this is far from new news, but as the holiday season approaches, the level at which retailers are upping their digital hiring is telling of the industry’s future.

Target on Thursday announced its plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers — a 20 percent increase over its commitment last year — and to nearly double the number of employees who will help fulfill digital orders compared with last year. Target also plans to fill more than 7,500 positions in fulfillment and distribution centers this holiday season.

Just a day earlier, Macy’s announced that it would hire a total of 80,000 temporary workers for the 2018 holiday shopping season — placing 23,500 at online fulfillment centers, an increase of 5,500 over last year. The total figure includes jobs at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, and call, distribution and fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Kohl’s this summer offered the first hint that there could be an uptick in retail hiring for the holidays — posting its job bulletin a full two months before most of its competitors in a likely bid to upend competition in a tight labor market. Unemployment hit an 18-year low of 3.8 percent over the summer and continues to hover at 3.9 percent. Meanwhile retailers — most of which have reconfigured many of their stores to focus on omnichannel cohesion — face a need for more skilled workers who are digital-savvy.

Target — which has been a leader in its class when it comes to boosting employee minimum wages — said all its team members hired after Sept. 16 will begin at a $12 an hour, part of its commitment to increasing its minimum hourly wage to $15 hourly by the end of 2020. Walmart has also pledged to offer a higher employee minimum wage — recently committing to using its new federal tax cuts for the cause — as it seeks to be more competitive in the labor market.

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