The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), said Friday that it plans to hire more than 50,000 seasonal employees for its US stores. The retailer revealed that the hiring, which is slightly more than it did last year, is a preparation for the upcoming winter holiday season, its busiest time of year.
“We know many customers are continuing to struggle as a result of the economy and high unemployment levels, but they have shown us that they’re resilient. They’re committed to giving their families a memorable Christmas,” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s U.S. Chief Operating Officer, Gisel Ruiz, said in a statement.
Apart from this announcement, the company also revealed that it will give an option to the current workers to work more hours during the season. Though the company was silent on the hiring figures for the 2011 holiday season, it said it plans to hire more than it hired last year. The hiring also comes in response to the constant complaints from the shoppers that they have to wait in long lines to pay for their purchases.
It’s a general trend among retailers to ramp up the seasonal hiring in the weeks leading up to the holiday shopping season, in order to ensure the smooth functioning in all the departments, including distribution and fulfilling online orders.
Department store chain Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) announced earlier this week that it plans to increase its holiday season hiring by more than 10 percent, and will hire more than 52,700 people for the holiday season to work in stores and support its online business.
Another retailer, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) revealed its plan to hire about 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal employees for its stores and distribution centers. Though the numbers are lower compared to the last holiday season, the company said that 30 percent of the workers hired during last year’s holiday season were given year-round positions. Arizona’s largest private employer, and the biggest retailer in the U.S., Wal-Mart’s hiring plans will provide some comfort in the tough job market. Though the retail jobs are not high paying, a seasonal job will provide some kind of employment to the long-term unemployed and others looking for work.