Target is investing big to win the 2017 holiday shopping season.
The big-box retailer announced on Wednesday that it will increase the number of seasonal hires by 40 percent compared to last year. This year, Target will hire about 100,000 seasonal team members, compared to 70,000 workers in 2016.
Additionally, Target will hire 4,500 team members at its distribution centers, in anticipation of more online orders that must be fulfilled.
“Target has made significant investments in our business throughout 2017, and our commitment to hire 100,000 team members for the holidays will make shopping at Target even easier and more fun during one of the busiest times of the year,” Target’s chief store officer, Janna Potts, said in prepared remarks.
“As always, we will provide our seasonal team members with meaningful opportunities to build and develop skills, and offer great benefits, including a variety of schedules and team member discounts,” Potts added.
The seasonal hiring begins on Oct. 13, and unique benefits include a 10 percent discount on Target purchases, and a 20 percent discount for certain fruits and vegetables and athletic apparel merchandise.
Notably, the big-box retailer is one of the first companies to announce its hiring plans for the busiest shopping season of the year. And Target’s ambitious plans hint that hiring will be healthy across the industry, with other retailers eager to win sales.
“The holiday season has been creeping up as retailers want to get a competitive edge,” Consumer Growth Partners President Craig Johnson told CNBC in a recent interview. “Remember, everyone has a budget for the holidays, but retailers are trying to … expand those budgets a little bit.”
When sales go up, for example, a company can bring more seasonal staff in, Johnson explained.
Better yet, “seasonal hiring is an indication of where the market is headed,” he said. “If they’re hiring more people, this is good news. Retailers that are hiring more people are doing press releases. … Conversely, if you’re not hiring a lot of people, you’re not doing a press release.”
Target is kicking off the season on a good note. The retailer will also ask its new hires to help guests learn about Target’s exclusive brands, something the company has been promoting over the summer and into the fall months.
Target has more than 1,800 stores across the U.S.