While Target’s numbers will look similar to last year in terms of holiday hires, the approach for the roles of these new hires to adapt to new customer habits during the pandemic will be far more unique than they ever have been.
This coming holiday season, there will be two times the number of Target employees dedicated to in-store online purchase pickup and same-day curbside pickup as the beginning of 2020. To make sure Target stores don’t run out of popular items, distribution centers are set to hire more workers.
Many workers will have to narrow their focus to cleaning and safety, while employees across all Target stores will be trained to shift from task to task when necessary. Many will have to learn how to help with curbside pickup and disinfect store items, such as shopping carts.
According to Brian Cornell, Target’s CEO, the approach to serving customers and staffing employees during the 2020 holidays will have a large emphasis on flexibility. Flexibility isn’t anything new compared to what shoppers experienced during the pandemic. In a recent interview, he noted that he expects “certain trends from earlier this year will continue during the holiday season.”
Most customers will continue to seek out great value and safety. “Certainly, we continue to see the guests gravitate towards the ease and convenience and contact-free ways to shop through our digital channels,” said Cornell.
Consumer forecasts predict the rise of holiday sales this season, though the rise will only be slight. Many consumers still face an economy that is uncertain, pulling back spending to cope with the current recession. Deloitte, a major UK consulting firm, predicted the rise of holiday sales to be anywhere from 1-1.5% this year.
The sales will depend on whether low-income families rein in spending or high-income families splurge.
Cornell, however, declined to provide a prediction for what is typically a bustling shopping season. He did note that Target will make changes related to the pandemic, including holiday deals that will begin in October.
Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer, says that current employees will opt for duties outside of their normal departments while getting additional hours. Many will be given the task of fulfilling online orders, as more than 90% of online orders from Target are fulfilled at an in-store location.
Despite soaring sales, the holiday hiring for Target will look very similar to what it was last year. Last holiday season, Target hired around 130,000 seasonal workers, while in 2018, the company hired around 120,000.
40% of Target seasonal hires get retained as regular employees.
In the second quarter of this year, prior to August 1st, Target saw a surprising sales boom. Wall Street’s expectations for the retailer were blown away as the store hit a 24.3% growth. The digital sales for Target nearly doubled.
One of the main pieces of fuel for sales during the pandemic is Target’s same-day services. Customers can get goods delivered to their homes, utilize curbside pickup, or order to pick up in stores. Unlike Walmart, however, Target did not hire 500,00 new employees this year.