As retailers gear up for the pivotal holiday season in anticipation of potentially sluggish sales growth, e-commerce behemoth Amazon has unveiled plans to expand its US workforce by a staggering 250,000 employees. This move signals a substantial 67% surge compared to its hiring figures from the previous two years.
The holiday season preparations of Amazon involve an ambitious initiative aimed at fortifying its next-day delivery capabilities. This strategic move underscores the company’s commitment to meeting the ever-increasing demands of time-sensitive shoppers. Alongside this workforce expansion, the company is set to fortify its operational infrastructure with an additional 50 US fulfillment centers and delivery stations, while also enhancing same-day delivery services.
In anticipation of the upcoming Fall Prime Event slated for October 10-11, Amazon is rallying merchants to extend generous discounts. The aim is to entice budget-conscious shoppers to kickstart their gift shopping spree ahead of the holiday rush.
Rival retailers are also unveiling their own hiring strategies for the forthcoming season. Macy’s, for instance, has announced plans to recruit over 38,000 full and part-time workers, representing a marginal decrease from the previous year. Walmart, which employed 40,000 seasonal workers in the preceding year, has yet to disclose its hiring intentions.
Target, on the other hand, stands firm in its hiring projection, with 100,000 employees set to join the ranks for the holiday season, mirroring last year’s figures.
To sweeten the deal for seasonal recruits, Amazon has pledged sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 in select locations. Additionally, associates are slated to receive competitive hourly wages, ranging from $17 to $28, contingent on their specific roles and geographical locations. This marks an uptick from last year’s average hourly rate of $19.
Notably, Amazon is demonstrating its commitment to workforce investment with a substantial $1.3 billion allocated for pay raises targeting fulfillment and transportation staff throughout the year. John Felton, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, emphasized that both fulfillment and transportation employees are poised to witness a commendable 13% uptick in their earnings over the next three years, in addition to supplementary investments.
It is worth noting, however, that earlier this year, Amazon underwent a workforce reduction, with 27,000 staff members, roughly 9% of its workforce, affected. This move was attributed to streamlining operations in its advertising, cloud computing, and human resources departments.
As the retail and e-commerce sectors navigate the complex terrain of the forthcoming holiday season, the hiring initiatives of major players, particularly Amazon, provide a telling snapshot of how the industry is strategically positioning itself for the year-end surge in consumer activity.