(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Wednesday it would not hire temporary workers this holiday season for the second straight year but will offer extra hours to its existing employees.
Wal-Mart’s move is in contrast to rival Target Corp’s (TGT.N) plan to hire thousands of workers to handle the expected brisk demand during the season, with Deloitte Consulting predicting a 4 percent to 4.5 percent jump in holiday sales.
Deloitte said on Wednesday that it expects sales of $1.04 to $1.05 trillion between November and January, with e-commerce sales jumping 18 percent to 21 percent.
Wal-Mart said it would increase the number of what it called “holiday helpers” in stores this season to enhance customer service by getting shoppers checked out faster, having more registers available and adding another layer of shopping support for customers in lines that may have forgotten items.
The “holiday helpers” are part of its regular workforce, the company said.
Wal-Mart said the extra hours offered will help staff traditional roles such as cashiers and shelf stockers, and personal shoppers and new jobs like pick up associates for its online operations.[Bwbbsp5sa]
“This is the same approach we took last year, and we heard great feedback from our customers and associates,” said Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Judith McKenna.
Major retailers have been focusing on beefing up services such as online shopping, in-store pickups and same-day delivery ahead of the holiday season, as they try to compete better with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).
Several analysts expect holiday hiring for stores to rise this year as retailers try to make up for a drop in service quality.
Last week, Target said it would hire 100,000 temporary holiday workers, up from the 70,000 it has hired in each of the last four years.
Macy’s said it would employ more workers at its distribution centers and warehouses to support its online business, while reducing overall seasonal hiring as it has fewer stores this year.
Wal-Mart, the largest retail employer in the United States, did not disclose its hiring for fulfillment centers but said those centers are currently staffed by thousands of more employees than last year to meet increasing demand.
Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Bernard Orr