In order to fulfill the predicted high level of demand during the holiday shopping season, Walmart jobs hired roughly 200,000 workers in the third quarter. In the face of labor shortages and demand increases, retailers ranging from Amazon to Target have increased wages, added additional benefits, and increased work hours for employees. The demand to hire more people has only grown as the Christmas shopping season approaches, which traditionally begins on Black Friday after Thanksgiving and lasts until January.
Walmart said in September that it would hire roughly 150,00 new retail employees in the United States, the majority of whom would be permanent jobs and full-time positions, in order to better prepare for the holiday season. To accommodate the demand for delivery and curbside pickup, the business has stated that it would hire 20,000 workers for permanent jobs in its supply chain facilities.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call of recent hiring, “That’s been done to meet demand. “Retailers are expected to hire between 500,000 and 665,000 seasonal workers this year, compared to 486,000 in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation. That hiring period likely moved even into October as retailers announced deals earlier in the holiday season and encouraged shoppers to buy sooner than later amid inventory issues and shipping delays, NRF said.
Walmart has tried a variety of strategies to keep current employees and attract new ones. This year, the corporation executed three salary raises, the most recent of which saw more than 565,000 shop employees receive a $1 hourly raise. Walmart reported in September that its average hourly wage in the United States is $16.40. Walmart also announced in July that it would begin covering the entire cost of employees’ college tuition and books.”
This is similar to what other shops are doing to overcome a labour shortage. Amazon, for example, announced in September that it would seek to fill 125,000 new positions across the country, paying an average of $18 per hour and offering up to $3,000 in signing bonuses in some circumstances. Since the outbreak, Amazon has hired over 450,000 people in the United States.
Target jobs have chosen a slightly different approach, reduced the number of seasonal recruitment and instead offered existing staff greater hours. While the company indicated it would likely hire 100,000 seasonal workers this year, that would be less than the 130,000 it hired the previous two years. Instead, Target said it plans to have its existing store staff of around 300,000 works about 5 million more hours during the holiday season.
“We feel really good about our staffing going into the holiday season,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said on “Squawk on the Street” on Wednesday. “We’re offering our existing team over 5 million additional hours, an investment of $75 million, to make sure we’re first investing in our existing team, but we’ll also add 100,000 seasonal team members for the chance to start with us during the holidays, but hopefully, can extend that into 2022 and beyond.”
Cornell lauded Target’s employee retention rates as “some of the strongest in our history,” which he attributed to the company’s efforts in salaries, benefits, and safety. The NRF is forecasting that holiday sales between November and December will grow between 8.5% and 10.5% compared to 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, which would set a record.
According to the Commerce Department, retail sales rose 1.7% in October, with online shopping seeing a 10.2% gain from last year. McMillon said that the “most pronounced thing” Walmart saw in the months after government stimulus subsided was around hiring.
When the stimulus money stopped flowing, the hiring picture shifted much more quickly,” McMillon said on the results call. “We watched folks return.” We were back to being staffed in a matter of weeks.” Walmart’s third-quarter revenue was $140.5 billion, up 4.3 percent year over year, which led to a 9.3 percent increase in comparable-store sales in the United States as more shoppers returned to stores.