By Richa Naidu
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Dick’s Sporting Goods said on Thursday it will hire up to 9,000 workers to cover the key holiday season in its stores, 1,000 more than last year, expecting a jump in online orders for curbside or in-store pickups amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Retailers have struggled this year, with mall traffic declining across the United States as stores in states like California continue to operate under severe restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The number of people visiting Dick’s outlets declined nearly 54% in May, according to data firm Placer.ai. While this has since improved, traffic is still about 9% lower than last year, the data shows.
Pennsylvania-based Dick’s expects in-store foot traffic to improve from earlier this year, with demand for products like kayaks, golf clubs and bicycles up as many people turn to non-contact sports. Still, online sales are surging: second-quarter e-commerce sales nearly tripled, it said recently.
Ship-to-store orders – where customers buy online and pick up from a store of their choosing – accounted for three-quarters of all online orders in the quarter, Dick’s said.
The “vast majority” of new holiday-season hires will work in stores, fulfilling curbside pick-up and ship-to-store orders or manning cash registers. Only about 250 of the new workers will be sent to distribution centers, Dick’s Chief People Officer Julie Lodge-Jarrett told Reuters.
As part of its hiring pitch, Dick’s plans to pay workers 15% more than at least the minimum wage of each state through the end of the year, also offering them discounts on Dicks’s goods of up to 25%.
“In the vast majority of the states we already pay above minimum wage, even for our entry level position,” Lodge-Jarrett said.
The company said it would kick off most of its hiring nationwide on Oct. 14.
(Reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)