Retailers in Nevada and throughout the United States are ramping up hiring campaigns for the all-important holiday shopping season. In the Silver State, the Retail Association of Nevada estimates retailers will boost hiring by 4,700 positions during the holiday shopping period. Seasonal positions include in-store employees as well as logistics and warehousing workers fulfilling online orders. Nevada is expected to follow the national trend with reduced in-person shopping and more online purchases. Overall, holiday shopping in 2020 will look much different than years past due to the ongoing pandemic. A number of major retailers such as Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot and Target have announced that they will be staying dark on Thanksgiving Day. Retailers have also announced that their holiday deals will also have extended timelines in order to help consumers navigate the proper social distancing measures.
“This holiday shopping season will be much different than years past due to the ongoing pandemic that is altering consumer shopping habits,” said Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of RAN. “While less in-person shopping is expected this year, Nevada retailers are still continuing to hire and keep up with consumer demand during the holiday shopping season. Brick-and-mortar stores are doing their part to follow COVID-19 safety protocols so in-store consumers can continue to feel safe and comfortable.”
On a national level, career transitions firm Challenger Gray & Christmas projects seasonal retail hiring to decrease compared last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shifted buying behavior to more e-commerce purchases. Retailers have committed to new procedures this year to help ensure the health and safety of their customers. Major retailers have continued to build out their curbside pickup services and put into place strict disinfecting and cleaning procedures. Some stores such as Target also have implemented new features on their websites that show consumers how long the lines are and also give consumers the ability to make a reservation to come into the store.
With the national unemployment rate recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many major retailers have decreased seasonal hiring volumes this year and are focusing on health and safety for consumers in their stores. Companies are looking to hire workers who may have lost their jobs earlier this year or are in need of additional household income during the holiday season.
Across the nation, major retailers Target and Kohl’s announced seasonal hiring plans of 130,000 and 90,000 workers, respectively. Macy’s/Bloomingdales expects to add 25,000 positions, while Walmart announced plans to bring on 20,000 seasonal employees. Michael’s is seeking 16,000 new hires, while Gap Inc. announced 10,000 seasonal positions throughout its stores, including Banana Republic and Old Navy. JCPenney scaled down seasonal hiring dramatically this year and plans to add 1,700 workers nationwide. Additionally, Amazon announced plans to hire roughly 100,000 new permanent employees to keep up with the booming e-commerce demand. Delivery companies UPS and FedEx will boost hiring, with announced seasonal hires of 100,000 and 70,000 positions, respectively.
Retail sales for the months that include the holiday shopping season typically account for more than a quarter of annual retail sales. Through July 2020, statewide taxable retail sales for the prior 12 months reached $61.1 billion, down 2.6 percent from the previous year.