The big-box retailer revealed Wednesday that it plans to hire up to an additional 100,000 seasonal workers during the holidays, even as many discount shoppers pull back on discretionary items and competitors like Walmart lay out plans to hire a fraction of prior years’ seasonal employees.
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“The holidays are a treasured time when our guests come together with family and friends to celebrate the joy of the season and we’re here to make that as easy as possible for them to enjoy,” Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer at Target, wrote in a blog post for the company. “That’s why we’re rolling out deals earlier than ever and ensuring our team is ready to help our guests shop when and how they want.”
Target’s announcement comes just one day after Walmart revealed it would hire only 40,000 seasonal workers — compared with the roughly 150,000 the firm sought last year. Fears of a recession, excess inventory and continued bottleneck tie-ups are causing many retailers — especially those that cater to budget shoppers — to rethink their go-forward strategies.
Revenues at both Target and Walmart fell in the most recent quarter because of macro headwinds. One of the many issues plaguing the retail industry at large is a continued shortage of available labor to work in stores in fulfillment centers. But Walmart chief executive officer Doug McMillon surprised analysts in May when he said during the company’s conference call that the firm actually hired too many people — at least in stores — during last December’s Omicron surge. Then in August, Walmart laid off roughly 200 people among its corporate workforce.
Jimmy Carter, a Walmart spokesperson, said at the time that Walmart was evolving its workforce to accommodate the changing customers’ needs and had plans to offer more jobs in areas such as e-commerce, technology, health and wellness, supply chain and advertising sales.
Target, meanwhile, seems to be pivoting in the opposite direction, with plans to hire about the same number of seasonal employees as last year — even as inventory issues cut profits by nearly 90 percent last quarter. The big-box retailer also ended the quarter with roughly $6 billion more in inventory, compared with pre-pandemic levels.
But the firm seems to be tackling the excess inventory by offering extended promotions.
Target Deal Days starts Oct. 6 through 8 and offers guests access to “deep holiday deals on must-have items and everyday essentials.” The retailer will also have an extended holiday price-match guarantee period from Oct. 6 through Dec. 24.
The retailer is hoping to attract new talent in its stores and supply chain facilities by offering a starting wage between $15 and $24 an hour, in addition to flexible schedules, “well-being benefits” and employee discounts.
To lure in more shoppers, Target continues to offer services for convenience (such as same-day delivery and BOPIS) and continues to double down on its effort to establish itself as a fashion destination with a combination of owned brands, national brands and exclusive product launches.
Most recently, Target revealed its Fall Designer Collection, a limited-time partnership with luxury and high-end designers, creating affordable capsules for Target.
The Minneapolis-based retailer also carries 18 of its owned apparel brands, in addition to national brands — such as Levi’s Red Tab, lingerie brand Journelle, period-panties brand Thinx and Priyanka Chopra’s hair care brand Anomaly — and Ulta Beauty, Disney and Apple shops-in-shop in select stores.
“Throughout the season, guests will discover new and differentiated items for gifting and gathering, including only-at-Target owned brands and must-have national brands and they can expect great deals and everyday low prices at every turn for an unmatched holiday shopping experience,” Hennington said.