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By Khadeeja Safdar
Target Corp. said it would increase by 40% the number of temporary workers it hires for the key holiday selling season, kicking off the annual scramble among retailers and delivery firms to staff stores and distribution centers.
The Minneapolis-based chain is hiring approximately 100,000 seasonal workers, compared with the 70,000 hires last year. In addition, it will employ 4,500 workers at its distribution and fulfillment centers to replenish products to stores and fulfill digital sales throughout the season.
Last year, it hired 7,500 for its distribution centers because it had opened three new facilities.
The retailer will host nationwide hiring events in October to interview candidates. The company is trying to get back on track after suffering sales and profit declines last year. It has been lowering prices and ramping up spending on its e-commerce efforts to lure back shoppers.
The scramble for holiday-season workers has been intensifying steadily in recent years, fueled by the growth of online shopping. The nation's low unemployment rate and rising wages for workers at the bottom of the income ladder have made the temporary jobs even harder to fill.
As of Jan. 28, Target employed about 323,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, according to its annual report. During the 2016 holiday season, its staffing peaked at about 373,000.
Amazon.com Inc., which has been rapidly adding distribution centers, last year hired about 120,000 extra workers for the season, 20% more than the year before. United Parcel Service Inc. hired about 95,000 extra employees for the holidays in 2016, the same number as the previous two years. Neither company has disclosed plans for this year.
The country's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which employs more 1.5 million Americans, didn't disclose how many temporary workers it planned to hire last holiday season.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 13, 2017 08:43 ET (12:43 GMT)
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