AMZN - Increasing Employee Count by 25% for Holiday
AMZN has doubled its seasonal employee count in just 4 years to 100k workers as the rest of retail -- particularly the department store space -- has pulled back the reins in earnest. Footprints at most of the group don't look much different when compared to 3 years ago, but the big difference is the holiday surge in online sales. According to IBM, E-comm sales were up 10.3% and 14% in 2013 and 2014, respectively, during the Holiday season. Which is ~3.5x what the industry has done in aggregate. And because it's become a disproportionate percent of growth during the season it only makes sense that employee counts would march higher in order to meet the Holiday surge at fulfillment centers. But that hasn't happened most likely because store hiring plans are down and with e-comm specific hiring up. Holiday sales forecast across the industry (NRF, Deloitte, AlixPartners, RetailNext, etc.) have been less than optimistic with each of the prognosticators projecting growth rates below last year’s 4.1%, and Holiday hiring plans reflect that. All except AMZN, of course, who is bucking the trend at +25%.
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