Macy’s to Increase Hiring This Year-End Shopping Season

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Department-store giant Macy’s Inc. is bulking up its ranks for the year-end shopping season with 86,000 temporary positions, the latest retailer to boost seasonal hiring in preparation for the upcoming shopping season.

The Cincinnati-based company said it is hiring about 3,000 more seasonal workers than last year to staff its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers and distribution centers during the year-end shopping season.

Other retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl’s, are also boosting their year-end hiring.

The ramp-up in temporary hiring could hit more than 800,000 workers in the last months of the year, the highest level since 1999, according to career-counseling firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The planned hires indicate that retailers are expecting a decent-but-not-blockbuster year-end shopping season, a crucial period in which they can bring in as much as 40 percent of their total annual sales. Retail sales are considered a bellwether of consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Economists say lower gas prices and a healthier job market have boosted consumer confidence. However, many experts predict that people will shop carefully because incomes have remained stagnant.