With the holiday season around the corner, retailers are already on a hiring spree to catch up with the festive rush. Needless to say, competition will be stiff, whether it is among the brick-and-mortar stores or the e-commerce platforms. As the season accounts for a sizeable chunk of yearly revenues and profits, retail bellwethers will go the extra mile to woo bargain hunters, be it early-hour store openings, huge discounts, promotional strategies and free shipping on online purchases.
Certainly, retailers are deploying resources to enhance omni-channel capacities, unveiling new brands, remodeling or refurbishing stores, and expanding same-day delivery options to expedite the shopping process this season. Additionally, retailers are rationalizing supply chains, improving store-related technology and augmenting ship-from-store capabilities. They are also trying to absorb higher costs related to tariffs and keep consumers unaffected.
The retail landscape has been undergoing a fundamental change, for quite some time now, with technology playing a major role, as the focus shifts to online shopping, thanks to the growing dominance of Amazon AMZN. As consumers’ shopping and spending patterns are changing, retailers are fast embracing the omni-channel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether in stores or online or through smartphones via apps. Further, companies are even investing in improved checkouts and mobile point-of-sale capabilities.
Here Are the Hiring Plans
Retail giants such as Target TGT and Gap GPS have already announced their hiring plans for the upcoming holiday season. Target intends to appoint more than 130,000 seasonal workers to provide a great shopping experience to customers. This comprises around 125,000 associates for more than 1,800 stores, and approximately 8,000 employees for distribution and fulfillment centers. In the last festive period, the company deployed 120,000 seasonal members at its stores, and 7,500 members at the distribution and fulfillment centers.
Gap is likely to deploy approximately 5,000 associates during a one-day hiring event to be held on Oct 5, 2019 across the United States and Canada. In this single-day hiring event, it will pick eligible candidates for its Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Old Navy stores, and Janie and Jack stores, as well as call centers and distribution centers, for the holiday period.
Again, Michaels Companies MIK plans to hire approximately 15,000 seasonal associates for its U.S. and Canada stores and distribution centers, while Kohl’s KSS plans to deploy 90,000 seasonal associates.
Deloitte’s recent holiday sales projection indicates that retailers are all set to revel again in the euphoria of the upcoming festive season. Holiday sales are expected to increase 4.5-5% and exceed $1.1 trillion between November 2019 and January 2020. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales are estimated to go up 14-18% and reach $144-149 billion. The numbers look robust compared with the last year, when sales in December were affected by the U.S. government shutdown, a battered stock market and increase in consumer savings.
The holiday season is nothing less than a battlefield for the retailers struggling to win over consumers. We believe, with the advent of the holiday season, the retail sector will hog all the attention.
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.
See their latest picks free >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Gap, Inc. (GPS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Michaels Companies, Inc. (MIK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Kohl's Corporation (KSS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research