Eye on Retail: Retailers ramp up distribution center hiring

Retailers are shifting their holiday hiring due to the pandemic.

That’s according to a survey of 50 major retailers by Korn Ferry, in which 57% of respondents said they are hiring more distribution center employees. Nearly two-thirds (59%) are offering hiring incentives for distribution center workers, including premium holiday pay and bonuses. 
Thirty-six percent of retailers expect to have fewer holiday workers overall this season, and 39% said they are finding it difficult to find qualified employees. 

In other findings, 42% of survey respondents said they expect at least 20% of their sales will be online, with 21% saying more than 35% of their sales will be via e-commerce. 

Retailers are mixed on their sales expectations. Twenty-seven percent believe business will be down, and 45% believe business will be better than last year. 
“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, retailers who sell essential goods such as grocery and home improvement stores have fared very well, while other categories such as specialty clothing stores have suffered,” said Craig Rowley, retail expert, Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm. “Retailers are being cautious as they enter the holiday season by managing inventory to avoid a glut of post-holiday markdowns.”

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