After hiring less for this year’s holiday shopping season due to anticipating weaker holiday sales, Macy’s announced Friday it would hire 7,000 more temporary holiday workers citing higher shopper traffic thus far during the beginning of the holiday season.
The department store, which has had 11 consecutive quarters of sales declines at same-stores said in September it was going to hire 80,000 workers for the holiday shopping season. At the time, it was the second straight year it would hire fewer seasonal employees.
However, the department store chain now says there is reason to hire more temporary employees for the run up to Christmas that is 24 days away and for the days through the end of the holiday season.
Macy’s has started the holiday season very well with a high volume of customers across its business, said a spokesperson for the company. However, no figures were released by the spokesperson to quantify the statement of higher customer volume.
CEO of Macy’s Jeff Gennette told several media outlets that during Black Friday business was very good,
Nonetheless, Macy’s did get hit by a problem with its payments system on Black Friday. For a period the system would not accept payments by credit or debit card, which caused long lines and frustrated customers.
However, later during the same day, the problem was resolved and has to date not happened again.
Earlier in the week, the National Retail Federation released a statement that said 174 million people in the U.S. shopped either in stores or online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. That figure was higher than the estimated 164 million.
The NRF does not provide an estimate any longer in dollar amounts for that key five-day weekend, but consensus amongst economists and analysts is the 2017 holiday shopping season started very well for retail in general.
For the entire period of November and December, the NRF said it is expecting retail sales will increase between 3.5% and 4% and reach to as high as $683 billion.
The jobs being added by Macy’s are for sales floor positions as well as those areas that have been dedicated for pickup in-store of orders that were made online. The additional hiring is a positive contrast for the company, which in 2017 has shuttered 68 or more stores and laid off many workers in an attempt to cut costs.
In addition, Macy’s has looked to lower clutter in the store and has relaunched a loyalty program in an effort to return to more profitable times.