Macy’s plans for a very digital Christmas with seasonal hires
Another holiday shopping season is on the way, and Macy’s is among the retailers announcing news about the temporary talent they’re bringing on for 2018. The apparel chain is making a big investment again this year, this time pointing more resources at its e-commerce fulfillment.
Macy’s plans to hire 80,000 temporary employees for the season, according to Reuters. While that’s the same number overall that the chain began the season with in 2017, it will be deploying 5,500 more of those employees at online fulfilment centers than it did last year.
So far, 2018 has been a year of reinvention for Macy’s as it has begun to rebound from a long stint of low sales alongside an overall downturn in the department store segment. In March of this year, the chain’s CEO, Jeff Gennette, announced the introduction of such enhancements as mobile scan, pay and go to improve the in-store checkout experience, and the redesign of macys.com and the retailer’s mobile experience. At that time, he cited capitalizing on momentum from last year’s holiday season as important for the chain’s rebound.
Increasing the size of its seasonal workforce focused on digital seems to make sense for Macy’s in light of its strong pre-holiday online performance. Sales via mobile app increased more than 50 percent for Macy’s year-over-year, and its online business grew in the double digits over the second quarter, Bloomberg reported.
But the holiday hiring landscape could be different this year. A strong economy and low rate of unemployment could cut into the amount of temporary talent Macy’s is able to bring on. The situation might demand a more significant commitment from the retailer in terms of pay or longer-term opportunities.
Despite a few quarters of good news from Macy’s, Wall Street hasn’t been entirely rosy in its view of the retailer. The company reported a second quarter stock drop in August despite posting positive comps and increasing its yearly fiscal outlook.
- Macy’s to hire 80,000 for holiday rush, boost online staffing – Reuters
- Macy’s shares get crushed after it beats expectations – RetailWire
- Macy’s CEO discusses mobile checkouts and other planned changes – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Macy’s right to focus on digital with its seasonal hires, or might the holiday store experience suffer due as a result? Will economic trends impact the willingness of temporary/seasonal employees to work at Macy’s?