After pulling back on its holiday season hiring in anticipation of weaker sales this year, Macy’s (M) said on Friday it will hire another 7,000 temporary workers, citing a strong number of shopper visits so far this Christmas period.
In September, the department store, which has been beset by 11 straight quarters of comparable sales declines, said it would hire 80,000 temporary workers for the holiday season, the second year in a row it was taking on fewer seasonal associates. But Macy’s now sees reason to bring on more temps in the run up to Christmas in just over three weeks and the days following that.
“Macy’s has had a great start to this holiday season with high customer volume across our business,” said John Harper, Macy’s chief store officer, in a statement. The company did not however quantify that with sales data. Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told various media outlets last week, on Black Friday, that business had been good. Nonetheless, Macy’s was hit by a glitch processing some gift and credit cards Black Friday, but resolved later in the day, though not without getting a black eye with some consumers. .
Earlier this week, the National Retail Federation said that 174 million Americans shopped in stores or online during the Thanksgiving–Cyber Monday holiday weekend, above expectations for 164 million. While the NRF no longer provides an estimate in dollar amounts of how the key weekend went, the consensus among analysts and economists is that the 2017 holiday season got off to a great start for the retail sector at large. For the whole November-December period, the NRF has said it expects retail sales to increase between 3.6% and 4% to hit as much as $682 billion.
The jobs Macy’s are adding are on the sales floor as well as the areas dedicated for in-store pickup of online orders and other functions. The extra hiring is a nice contrast for Macy’s which this year has closed some 68 stores and laid off hundreds of workers as it looks to cull weak stores.
In addition to that, Macy’s has been looking to reduce store clutter and re-establish itself as a tastemaker and has relaunched its loyalty program as part of its efforts to get back on track as detailed in this in-depth look at the company in the current issue of Fortune.
Still, Macy’s continues to struggle with a shopper exodus to the likes of Amazon.com (AMZN), T.J. Maxx and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) among many others.