Amazon plans to add 120,000 seasonal workers in an effort to meet an expected spike in demand during the year-end shopping season, as more and more people trade bricks for clicks.
The seasonal positions will be created at fulfillment centers, sorting centers and customer service sites in 27 states. The move marks a 20 percent boost from the 100,000 seasonal hires a year ago.
The move comes as online shopping growth continues to eclipse shopping at traditional stores. The National Retail Federation, based in Washington, D.C., is forecasting sales for the year-end shopping season to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion, much better than the 3 percent growth seen in the year-ago period. Online shopping is expected to rise 7 to 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.
Ever since capacity problems in 2013 caused some people to get packages after the holidays, Amazon has been pouring money into its distribution centers and logistics chain, opening new distribution centers and leasing its own planes and trucks to speed up delivery.
At the end of July, the company said it has 123 distribution centers globally and more than 23 sorting centers, with plans to have added 21 new global fulfillment centers by the end of September; at the same point in 2015, it had added only 10.
Last year, the company said it transitioned 14,000 seasonal positions to regular, full-time jobs and it expects to boost that figure this year.
By contrast, year-end hiring for brick-and-mortar stores has been relatively flat from the prior year.
Macy’s plans to hire about 83,000, Kohl’s Corp. plans to hire 69,000 additional workers and Target Corp. says it will hire more than 70,000, all about even from a year ago.