Target Revs for Holiday Season with Hiring Push

Company plans to add 100,000 seasonal workers

September 13, 2017

The looming holiday season got an unofficial kickoff as Target announced plans to hire 100,000 additional seasonal workers this year, up a striking 40% from last year’s levels.

The amplified hiring reflects the urgency retailers feel to meet shopper expectations across all channels.

For Target, the announcement comes as the retailer looks to build on a successful second quarter that was highlighted by a 1.3% gain in same-store sales and a 32% increase in online sales.

In comparison, Walmart saw its ecommerce market share inch to 1.81% for the same period ending this July, beating Target. That was up from 1.70% share for the year ending in July 2016. And Amazon’s share picked up at an even faster pace, rising to 41.07% from 40.31%, according to Slice Intelligence’s study of online receipts from a panel of 2.45 million US online shoppers.

Communications agency Walker Sands, in a report highlighting preparations retailers need to attend to ahead of this year’s holiday season, noted that consumers have been conditioned to have their digital purchase desires met immediately or almost immediately. Indeed, it found that 40% of US consumers surveyed in April 2017 said next day shipping would make them shop online more frequently, while a similar percentage (39%) said the same of same-day shipping.

That need for speed puts Target and other retailers at a disadvantage with Amazon, which has established itself in consumers’ minds as a quick source for delivery. Walker Sands found that 19% of the consumers surveyed had used Amazon Prime same-day delivery in the past year, while 18% said they had used Amazon Prime Now, a two-hour delivery option.

Target, in announcing the hiring increase, stressed the omnichannel experience, saying that the hires will help “deliver a seamless experience for guests this holiday season, whether team members are helping guests directly or fulfilling online orders.”