Target announced on Wednesday that it will hire approximately 100,000 workers in its 1,816 U.S. stores, plus another 4,500 for its distribution centers and fulfillment facilities, according to a company blog post. "The increase in hires — which will help us keep improving our guest service — is part of the investments we announced earlier this year," the company said.
The move this year is an adjustment in favor of brick and mortar, considering the 70,000 seasonal workers hired in stores and 7,500 in its distribution and fulfillment centers a year ago. Target is taking applications for the jobs starting Wednesday, and for the second year, every Target store will hold hiring events in October.
Seasonal store workers this year will be tasked with fulfilling online pickup orders, and distribution and fulfillment center holiday workers will be shipping both store and Target.com orders, the company said.
Target is one of the earliest retailers out of the gate with its announcement for seasonal hiring. Retailers are leading job cuts in the U.S. so far this year, with 67,596 announced cuts so far, and 3,607 retail jobs cut in August, according to a report emailed to Retail Dive by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Retail job cuts are 51.4% higher this year than through the same point last year, when 44,643 retail cuts were announced, according to a Challenger report earlier this month.
"Retail is pivoting, and with the holiday rush just around the corner, a big jump in seasonal jobs is imminent," Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger said at the time. "An increasing number of these jobs will involve new technologies and be more customer-centric, as brick-and-mortar retailers seek to create experiences that consumers cannot find online."
That means that, as at Target, many retail jobs for the holidays (as at other times of the year) are increasingly found away from stores.
"Although we have seen high layoffs in retail with store closings and some companies filing for bankruptcy, there has also been increased hiring in new areas of the sector as retailers build out their e-commerce platforms," said Challenger. "Shipping and technology jobs are expanding and going unfilled. We are seeing a labor market in which skilled technical and logistics/supply chain talent is in high demand."
At Target, the boost in holiday hiring is part of an overall shift to improve the customer experience in stores, according to the company. "Target has made significant investments in our business throughout 2017, and our commitment to hire 100,000 team members for the holidays will make shopping at Target even easier and more fun during one of the busiest times of the year," Target chief stores officer Janna Potts said on the blog. "Target team members play such an important role in helping guests as they prepare to celebrate the holidays with their families. As always, we will provide our seasonal team members with meaningful opportunities to build and develop skills, and offer great benefits, including a variety of schedules and team member discounts."
Added to the post is an interview with a store employee who started as a seasonal sales floor worker and now leads the team at Target’s newly opened Belmont Station store in Chicago.