As it gears up for the crucial season in the midst of a slowing economy, Walmart Inc (WMTN) struck a cautionary note about holiday retail sales on Wednesday, pledging to hire less staff than last year.
In a blog post, Maren Waggoner, senior vice president of field people for Walmart U.S., revealed the largest U.S. retailer’s plans to hire 40,000 individuals for seasonal and full-time positions.
Walmart announced that it would hire 150,000 people in September 2021. Despite some seasonal employees being hired, they were primarily filling full time, year-round positions to cover COVID absences. Overstaffing resulted as a result, which hurt Walmart’s profitability in the first quarter of 2022.
The hiring this year is anticipated to strengthen the company’s in-store, delivery, pickup, and online operations in advance of what is anticipated to be a slow holiday shopping season. American merchants must contend with supply chain snarls, rising interest rates, a tight job market, and inflation.
This year, Walmart will hire seasonal U.S. store staffers, full-time truck drivers, and call center agents, according to Waggoner.
According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail estimate, which was announced on September 13, holiday retail sales are anticipated to increase between 4% and 6% year over a year from November through January, with total sales of approximately $1.45 trillion to $1.47 trillion.
This contrasts with the 15.1% increase in sales during the same period last year, when consumers were ready to spend after being locked up for months.
This year, the decline in demand for durable consumer items, which had been the mainstay of epidemic spending, will play a role. According to Deloitte, inflation may increase total dollar sales, but not volumes.
For instance, statistics from Salesforce’s Consumer Sentiment Index in August showed that 5% fewer online orders are anticipated this year compared to last year, while prices are anticipated to increase by 15%.
This year, holiday shopping is anticipated to begin earlier than ever because of “stretched wallets,” according to Salesforce’s survey.
Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy’s, repeated those remarks and stated that he anticipates holiday shopping to begin in October. View More
In contrast to when she started last year, Melanie Edwards of Detroit is preparing to shop for her family this month.
Edwards, a product manager, said, “Since inflation doesn’t seem to be going down, I’m planning on buying extra early this year. If I find a discount before November, I’m going to jump on it.”