Designer Brands Inc. is making a more than $1 million investment in its store associates.
The DSW parent company revealed this week in an internal announcement that it will give more than 7,300 hourly store associates a special $200 bonus in advance of the upcoming holiday season. Employees in the U.S. and Canada will receive the bonus on Sept. 3, which will mark a total investment of more than $1.3 million.
“Our frontline workers have worked tirelessly throughout this year,” said Designer Brands CEO Roger Rawlins. “As we head into the busy holiday season, we want to show our appreciation to our associates for their commitment and hard work to keep our company moving forward.”
Designer Brands previously offered full- and part-time associates a special $250 bonus in March. The company also offered a corporate bonus to employees in distribution centers, call centers and home offices in March.
The bonus announcement comes in advance of what experts are predicting will be a rough holiday season, amid shipping delays and a general worker shortage. A survey of retail executives conducted in July by management consulting company Korn Ferry found that 51% of participants are having moderate trouble hiring store employees. And 36% reported facing significant challenges.
“The challenge is right now we have probably the worst labor shortage in my entire career,” Craig Rowley, a senior client partner with Korn Ferry, told FN in July. “We have something like 9 million jobs open and 9 million unemployed people in this country, but of those unemployed, maybe 3 million of them are in transition and aren’t looking for work. And somewhere between 5 and 7 million people have dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic.”
A majority of respondents in the study said they were making an effort to attract or retain workers with increased marketing, referral programs and job fairs.
On Thursday, Lululemon said it would bump its minimum base pay for employees in its stores and Guest Education Centre (GEC) to $15 or $17 per hour as it looks to hire more than 8,000 employees for the holiday season. Under Armour and Tapestry also announced wage increases this year to attract new talent.