Kohl’s Is Already Hiring for the Holidays — What This Means for the Retail Jobs Market

Kohl’s is getting an early start to the holidays.

The retailer has already put out a call for seasonal workers — months before annual hiring sprees typically begin — as it aims to get ahead of the competition for skilled employees amid a tightening labor market.

On its website, Kohl’s announced that it had begun staffing up across 500 of its stores for the back-to-school and holiday seasons — nearly double the number of locations seeking “early wave” positions compared to last year. It will also start hiring at its distribution and fulfillment centers as soon as next month.

“Our early seasonal hiring strategy positions Kohl’s for success during the back half of the year and ensures our store teams are fully staffed and trained to meet the needs of our customers during the holiday season,” said senior EVP and chief people officer Marc Chini.

In 2018, Kohl’s revealed plans to beef up its workforce even earlier — at the end of June. The move underscores the heavy competition in the retail job search, with the unemployment rate still hovering near 50-year lows at 3.7%. As the economy continues to see a large number of job openings, retailers have been struggling to staff up vacant positions ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.

Additionally, the Milwaukee-based company said that it would train workers on technologies including mobile checkout and buy online-pick up in store services. It is also hiring about 3,000 store associates for omnichannel roles and its customer service departments.

For the 2018 holiday season, Kohl’s surpassed its hiring goals, employing more than the anticipated 90,000 associates at its 1,100-plus stores, nine distribution centers and five e-commerce fulfillment centers across the country.

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