NEW YORK — Walmart is taking a cautious approach to the holiday shopping season, announcing it will hire 40,000 American workers for the holidays, the majority of them seasonal workers.
The move, announced Wednesday, comes as the nation’s largest retailer and largest private employer said it was in a stronger staffing position heading into the holidays than last year and is now focused on hiring seasonal workers rather than permanent workers. Just like in previous years, the company will first offer current workers the option of working extra shifts if they want to earn extra money for the holidays.
A year ago, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain announced it was looking to hire about 150,000 new U.S. store workers, mostly full-time, permanent positions. Last fall, it also said it planned to hire 20,000 permanent workers for its distribution and fulfillment centers as the pandemic created major disruptions at various points in supply chain networks. retailers.
Retailers are facing a slowdown in consumer spending as shoppers face rising costs for daily necessities including rent and food. Many retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Stitch Fix, have downsized in recent weeks.
As a result, forecasts point to slower sales over the crucial holiday season compared to a year ago. AlixPartners, the global consultancy, expects holiday sales to grow 4% to 7% from last year, much slower than the 16% growth recorded a year ago. The current inflation rate of 8.3% means that retailers would see a decrease in their real sales. Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending for all payment types including cash, expects holiday sales to rise 7.1% from an 8.5% increase last year.