Nordstrom, Bon-Ton adding staff for the holidays

October 14, 2015 01:40 PM

Two Top 500 retail chains are adding staff in anticipation of a busy holiday season online.

Nordstrom Inc., No. 19 in the 2015 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will hire 11,800 seasonal employees, of whom, 1,600, or 13.6%, will work in Nordstrom’s three e-commerce fulfillment centers. Nordstrom had 67,000 employees in 2014, which would mean that the 11,800 seasonal hires represent a bump in its workforce of 17.6%.

“We want to provide the best possible service experience, no matter how our customers choose to shop with us and that takes good people," Jamie Nordstrom, Nordstrom’s president of stores, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, with online sales growing at a double-digit clip, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. is adding seasonal warehouse help to keep up with online demand ahead of the holidays.

Bon-Ton, No. 181 will hire 13,000 seasonal employees this holiday season. 500 will work in its new 743,000-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio, which opened in August, as well as its other distribution centers. Bon-Ton had said when the e-commerce fulfillment center opened that it would employ up to 400 employees during the holiday season, though the company didn’t specify what percentage of those employees would be seasonal. The retail chain also will rely more on stores this holiday season to keep up with online demand, CEO Kathy Bufano told analysts on Bon-Ton’s Q2 2015 earnings call.

“We are increasing our ability to fill customer orders online from our store inventory by expanding store fulfillment by 31 stores to increase our total to 50 by the end of October,” she said on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “This will allow us to better leverage our inventory and satisfy the needs of our omnichannel customers. We are also in the process of implementing buy-online-pick-up-in-store; for 2016.”

The retail chain does not break out online sales in its earnings report, but Bufano said the company’s online sales grew by double -digits year-over-year during the second quarter of the 2015 fiscal year. data shows Bon-Ton’s online sales growing at a rate of 70.79% over the past five years, from an Internet Retailer-estimated $11.5 million in 2010 to $167.5 million in 2014.




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