By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Retail analysts predict 2014's holiday shopping season should be bright and up from 2013's numbers. According to Forbes, the overall outlook for holiday purchases in 2014 is 8% more than last year, and retailers are already preparing for a busy season. Gamestop, H.H. Gregg, and Macy's have already announced their holiday hire plans, with most stores planning to hire nearly double their workforce.
CBS News reported that GameStop plans to hire about 25,000 employees in anticipation for the holiday season; the number is 47% more than 2013's hires. The retailer expects they'll need more employees to meet the demands of holiday shoppers particularly as consumers demand popular electronics such as Playstation, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U, as well as video games for the consoles. GameStop also wants to have enough staff to assist shoppers wanting to trade their phones for a new iPhone 6. Another electronics retailer, H.H. Gregg will be hiring far less sales associates than GameStop, but still plans to increase their staff numbers with 450 new associates.
Macy's had a nice profit bump last holiday season, and although their second-quarter profits were lower than expected, the retailer expects big numbers. They announced they're hiring 86,000 seasonal workers for Macy's and Bloomingdale's, which Macy's also operates. This hiring target is a 3.6% increase. The company will use the new workers throughout their stores, call centers and distribution center to handle the increased customer numbers.
The overall retail picture predicts only a modest increase in shopping, but an increase nonetheless. It's apparent as the holiday shopping season begins that retailers are ready to try everything it takes to get customers in the door and to the register. The picture will be clearer after Thanksgiving, as Black Friday through December 31 accounts for the most holiday sales. A store may receive 40% of its annual sales in the holidays, and these stores are preparing for record sales numbers.