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Macy's Preps for Holiday Season, Announces Hiring Plans

Zacks Equity Research

Like several other retailers, Macy's, Inc. M is set to embrace the holiday season, evident from its latest hiring plans. The department store retailer plans to hire nearly 80,000 seasonal workers for this holiday season, which is likely to enrich customers’ shopping experiences. These workers will be appointed for Macy’s and Bloomingdale stores, distribution and fulfillment centers, and call centers.

Around 30,000 people, up 6,500 from last year, will be hired for fulfillment facilities. Approximately 1,000 people will be hired for customer service centers and another 1,000 for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and other major holiday events. To this end, the company’s national hiring event is scheduled for Oct 24.

Holiday Rush Calls for Hiring Plans

The holiday season is a crucial time for retailers as it accounts for a sizeable chunk of yearly revenues and profits. Retailers try to attract customers with early-hour store openings, huge discounts and promotional strategies. However, trade war concerns may be a drag on retail sales this holiday season. Nonetheless, a strong labor market and favorable consumer sentiment should work in favor of retailers, including Macy’s.

Markedly, the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects holiday retail sales to advance 3.8-4.2% this season (excluding automobiles, restaurants and gasoline). Online and other non-store sales are expected to grow 11-14%. That said, many retailers are gearing up for the busiest season of the year.

Target TGT, for instance, intends to appoint more than 130,000 seasonal workers to provide a great shopping experience to customers. Also, Kohl’s KSS has plans to hire about 90,000 seasonal employees, whereas Gap GPS expects to hire 5,000 associates during a one-day hiring event to be held on Oct 5 across the United States and Canada. Notably, per the NRF, retailers are likely to hire 530,000-590,000 seasonal employees for the 2019 holiday season compared with 554,000 in 2018.

Wrapping Up

Coming back to Macy’s, the seasonal hiring plans reflect the company’s focus on enhancing customer experience. In fact, this is not new for the company, which is committed toward making customer-friendly endeavors. In connection with this, the company’s “Buy Online Pickup in Store” and "Buy Online Ship to Store" initiatives are gaining traction. Further, after a positive response from customers on STORY (a concept store), Macy’s introduced the second iteration of STORY — Outdoor STORY.

Also, the company has acquired a minority stake in b8ta, which should enhance customer shopping experience at The Market @ Macy's, a store-within-a-store retail concept. We believe that such efforts along with focus on price optimization, inventory management and merchandise planning should help uplift this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock that has slumped 47.5% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 34.8%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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