Beginning this month, Nordstrom will add online order pickup at U.S. Nordstrom Rack stores for Nordstrom.com, NordstromRack.com and HauteLook.com purchases, the company announced on Thursday. The retailer will also fulfill online orders from NordstromRack.com and HauteLook.com at nearby Nordstrom and Nordstrom Local locations later this year.
Customers will be able to pick up online orders at Nordstrom Rack stores starting this month, and Nordstrom Rack stores will also fulfill orders from NordstromRack.com, adding "thousands of additional choices" to the online shopping experience and speeding up delivery in some markets.
The company is also bringing on 22,000 employees to work in its fulfillment and distribution centers, as well as at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. The retailer hosted hiring events on Friday in each of its stores across the U.S. and Canada for same-day hiring, the company said in another press release.
As Nordstrom brings on more employees, it will pay them a $2-per-hour holiday premium between Oct. 11 and Jan. 2, 2021. Given that the holidays are usually the busiest time of year for retailers, Nordstrom wants to make sure that it has the staffing to fulfill each order and provide a positive customer experience, the company noted in a statement. Using all of its physical locations as online order pickup points should also help with increases in online ordering.
Other retailers, including Sam's Club, Walmart and Target, have hired more employees for fulfillment services to meet anticipated demand ahead of the holiday season. Though retailers are staffing up for increased holiday demand, research suggests that overall, this holiday season's sales growth could be minimal. A report from real estate firm CBRE estimates that retailers could see less than 2% sales growth during the 2020 holiday season compared to last year. However, online will drive a large portion of that: CBRE estimates e-commerce growth in November and December of more than 40%, above the 14% growth last year.
Nordstrom's decision to hire more staff comes as it tries to recover from the COVID-19-induced hardships. In July, the retailer laid off 521 of its Seattle-based employees and struggled to pay its rent.
Still, Nordstrom noted that about 20% of its seasonal hires transition to full-time jobs every year and many staffers who started as seasonal support have remained with the company today. Besides hiring more staff, the retailer hopes to woo more customers using its new partnership with Balsam Hill, which will allow customers to shop for faux Christmas trees at select Nordstrom locations.