Macy’s said last week that it had a strong start to the holiday season, and would hire an additional 7,000 seasonal workers to help with the heavy customer volume in the weeks before Christmas.
Analysts are saying that after the last few failing quarters, this might be the make or break season for the iconic department store brand. The chain has had to shut stores and reduce inventory due to increased competition from online rivals.
Macy’s stated in September it would hire 80,000 temporary workers for the holidays – which is down from last year’s 83,000. 18,000 of that number would work in distribution centers to fulfill online orders.
The staff increase follows problems at stores with credit card processing at the start of a Thanksgiving weekend, which saw some 174 million Americans – a number greater than earlier expected – visit stores or shop online.
Macy’s spokeswoman Blair Rosenberg said the slow down in processing of some credit cards had been caused by capacity-related issues and the additional hiring was not related to that problem.
She added that the additional hires would serve customers on the selling floor and work in other store operations, including facilitating pick up of items ordered online.
The full picture for sales during Thanksgiving weekend at brick-and-mortar retailers are expected later this month, early results have shown online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving hit record highs.