The holidays are fast approaching, and retailers are gearing up by going on their annual temporary hiring sprees. Retailers are expected to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers between October and December, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. However, the firm estimates that this year’s hires may fall slightly short of last year, when retailers added 751,800 jobs. Continued shaky consumer confidence and an increasing affinity for online shopping (which requires less labor to manage than brick-and-mortar retail) may keep holiday sales, and therefore hires, slightly tempered. Research firm ShopperTrak predicts that overall physical retail sales will be down from last year.
Here’s a breakdown of how the biggest retailers plan to expand their workforces in the coming weeks:
Amazon: The world’s largest online retailer plans to hire 70,000 holiday workers for its U.S. warehouse network, a 40% increase from last year. Another 15,000 will be hired in the United Kingdom. An unspecified number of these workers will be hired full-time, an Amazon spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.
GameStop: As the video game retailer prepares for the upcoming launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it will hire 17,000 seasonal workers. The figure is in line with last year’s numbers. The holidays are a particularly lucrative time for the company, which generates 40% of its annual revenue then.
JC Penney: The beleaguered retailer will pick up 35,000 seasonal workers, the same level it had before a failed attempt to revamp its pricing strategy by ditching coupons.
Target: The company will add 70,000 people to its workforce for the holidays, down from 88,000 in 2012. A company spokesman said the business would make up the labor difference by offering current, full-time workers 5 to 10 percent more holiday hours during the busiest weeks, according to CNN Money.
Wal-Mart: The largest brick-and-mortar retailer will hire 55,000 seasonal employees, a 10 percent uptick from 2012. The company also said it would transition 35,000 employees from temporary positions to part-time positions, and 35,000 more from part-time positions to full-time positions.
Toys R Us – The toy giant will hire 45,000 holiday employees, the same number as last year. In 2012 about 15 percent of these employees earned full-time positions, according to the Associated Press.
Kohl’s – The retailer will hire 53,000 store associates for the holidays, about the same number as last year. That’s a big jump from 2011, though, when the company only picked up about 40,000 holiday store workers.
Macy’s – The business will add 83,000 seasonal workers for its stores, call centers and distribution centers. That’s about a 4 percent jump from 80,000 workers in 2012. An increasing number of the retailer’s employees work in online fulfillment centers to route products to customers who shop on the web.