With the holiday fervor catching up, retailers are pulling up their socks with seasonal hiring plans for what is going to be a unique selling season, thanks to the pandemic. DICK’S Sporting Goods Inc. DKS is the latest to join its retail counterparts with hiring plans to deal with the festive period rush at stores and online. The company expects to hire up to 9,000 seasonal associates during its third annual “National Signing Day” to be held on Oct 14. Last year, it hired up to 8,000 seasonal employees.

With the additional hiring, the company estimates to meet the requirement of extra staffing and services at stores and distribution centers. Further, the incremental staff is likely to be utilized for filling positions for additional fulfillment services like curbside contactless pickup and ship-from-store capabilities, which are launched to provide an easy and safe contactless shopping experience to customers during the pandemic.

Notably, the curbside contactless pickup; buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and ship-from-store facilities have been doing extremely well to fulfill orders during the pandemic. This led DICK’S Sporting to record robust e-commerce sales growth of 194% in second-quarter fiscal 2020, with the curbside contactless pickup, BOPIS and ship-from-store sales contributing 75% of the e-commerce orders. Moreover, e-commerce sales accounted for nearly 30% of net sales in the reported quarter compared with 12% in the prior-year quarter.

The seasonal hires will not only receive an attractive pay but also gain other pre-requisites like a 15% pay premium through the end of the year and up to 25% discount on store merchandise. Additionally, the hires will get the opportunity to gain experience by working with the best sports and outdoor brands.

Holiday Rush Triggers Seasonal Hiring

The holiday season is a crucial time for retailers as it accounts for a sizeable chunk of yearly revenues and profits. Retailers try to attract customers with early-hour store openings, huge discounts and promotional strategies. However, uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be a key headwind during this year’s holiday bash. With stay-at-home trends still prevalent, retailers might be looking at the majority of sales this holiday season coming from online portals. Per Deloitte, e-commerce sales are estimated to improve 25-35% to reach $182-$196 billion this festive period.

Apart from Dollar Tree, several retailers are upping their games for the holiday season through seasonal recruits that will improve customer shopping experiences. We note that supermarket giant Walmart WMT unveiled plans to deploy more than 20,000 seasonal associates at its countrywide e-commerce fulfillment centers to meet the expected surge in online shopping. E-commerce behemoth Amazon AMZN announced plans to recruit as many as 100,000 full- and part-time employees to meet the surge in online demand more efficiently.

Also, Michaels Companies MIK announced plans to employ more than 16,000 workers for the upcoming holiday season. This art-and-craft retailer’s hiring plans are likely to solidify its BOPIS team, thereby, ensuring a safe and convenient shopping experience.

Wrapping Up

Coming back to DICK’S Sporting, the seasonal hiring plans reflect its focus on enhancing the customer experience for the holiday season. Further, it has been gaining from continued focus on developing every possible avenue to generate greater sales. As part of its long-term plan, the company plans to make significant investments in e-commerce, technology, store payroll, Team Sports and private brands.



Driven by these efforts, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has gained 54.1% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 20.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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