Macy’s to Hire Fewer Seasonal Workers for the Holidays

Macy’s plans to hire fewer temporary employees for its holiday season this year. This is news that arrives just a couple of weeks after the retailer cut its sale forecast for the full year due to a poor start at the beginning of the year.

The chain of department stores said Monday it would be hiring approximately 85,000 seasonal employees to its Macy’s and Bloomingdale stores, distribution centers, call centers and fulfillment online centers for the 2015 holiday shopping season.

That figure is compared to the 86,000 it hired last year for the same period.

In August, Macy’s reported a decrease of 2.6% in sales and just two weeks ago made an announcement that it would be closing 40 of its stores.

The retailer has struggled with consumers shifting their focus of spending away from apparel and toward other categories such as electronics, autos and home repairs, categories in which Macy’s is nearly absent.

It also has to contend with the resurgence of J.C. Penny and the still thriving stores operated by TJX, namely T.J. Maxx.

What is notable is how hiring continues to move toward supporting online operations at Macy’s. Last year, close to 10,000 season workers were assigned to the e-commerce Macy’s fulfillment centers. This year that figure will increase to 12,000 people.

Over recent years, Macy’s leads in integrating its stores and e-commerce, equipping the stores to help support its growth digitally with everything from management systems for inventors to small workstations near the back of a store where workers are able to pack orders to be shipped.

The company is hiring 3,000 workers to specifically work in stores to help do that along with those making in-store pickups.

Despite some early and optimistic forecasts, ShopperTrak the online ecommerce research firm is estimating an increase of 2.4% in holiday sales, retailers do not seem to be increasing their hiring more than last year.

Target and Walmart are holding steady at 70,000 and 60,000 respectively in their holiday hiring.

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