Target to hire 100,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, fewer than last year

Target Corp (TGT.N) said on Thursday it plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers this year, fewer than last year, to prepare for the holiday season at a time when the industry grapples with tight labor supply.

Instead of hiring more seasonal workers, the company said it will offer more work hours to existing employees during the busy period, resulting in about $75 million more into their paychecks.

Target currently has more than 350,000 workers.

Retailers and restaurants have been offering pay raises and other incentives to retain staff, with many worried that they will not have enough workers during the holiday shopping season, which starts a day after Thanksgiving and continues into early January.

Target, which increased its starting wage to $15 last year, announced plans to hire about 130,000 seasonal workers each year in 2019 and 2020.

The company was among the few retailers that enjoyed an upbeat holiday season last year, with its comparable sales increasing 17.2%, as investments in its online business helped Target gain market share from smaller brick-and-mortar rivals.

To better support in-store pickup and a service where store workers bring customer orders to their cars, Target this year is tripling the number of its store fulfillment expert roles over the last two years.

Rival Walmart Inc (WMT.N) is bringing in 20,000 workers at its supply chain division ahead of the holiday season.