- Target said it will keep its seasonal hiring "on-par" with last year's 130,000 holiday workers while redeploying associates to meet an explosion in its omnichannel services.
- The retailer plans to double the number of employees focused on its Drive Up and Order Pick Up services while also training additional associates to assist during the busiest periods, according to a press release.
- Target is also looking to hire more seasonal and full-time warehouse employees than last year as it ramps up inventory. In stores, it plans to dedicate staffing to disinfecting carts, foot traffic metering and handing out masks to customers that need them.
In a holiday season defined by the continued spread of COVID-19, Target clearly anticipates customers will keep leaning on same-day options as they try to minimize time spent in indoor public spaces.
During the second quarter, Target's same-day services (Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt) grew at a ferocious 273%. In its press release, the company said that 10 million new customers shopped its website and demand for its same-day fulfillment options quadrupled during the first half of 2020.
Along with deploying staff to same-day services, Target employees will also be fulfilling digital orders from stores that ship to customers' homes. The company said that its stores fulfill more than 90% of digital orders.
Target is gauging how many hours its existing staff would prefer to work this season and adjusting seasonal hiring accordingly, the company said. Seasonal hires at the retailer start at $15 an hour and get access to a range of other benefits, including childcare and eldercare options, free virtual doctor visits, mental health support, free protective equipment and two weeks of pay for coronavirus-related illnesses.
Target's hiring for the holiday season reflects what many analysts expect to be a boon for e-commerce, even if overall sales — amid a recession as well as continued uncertainty over both the economy and pandemic — are anemic for the period.
As predictions for seasonal spending roll in, AlixPartners survey data showed that 45% of shoppers plan to do the majority of their shopping online, up 15% from last year, and Deloitte estimates e-commerce sales will grow 25% to 30% year over year.
Like Target, Walmart has seen a surge in digital and omnichannel sales this year as consumers sought it out for essential goods and other products. Walmart recently said it would hire more than 20,000 seasonal workers to staff its e-commerce fulfillment centers as it prepares for a spike in holiday shopping this year.
In a recent client note, Cowen analysts pegged Walmart and Target as potential winners during a "rocky" fall shopping season, as consumers consolidate trips and seek out value.