Retailers do not want to miss any opportunity and are hiring for Christmas, but in an environment of uncertainty.
The usual operations of hiring workers to respond to the high customer turnover that supermarkets await for Christmas have already begun, although uncertainty regarding the evolution of the pandemic has set ambitions. And there are many predictions, not the least of which is that the two months before Christmas and New Year’s Eve equal about 30% of these companies’ annual sales volume.
Retailers are “recruiting, but not at pre-pandemic levels, as a result of people’s changing habits and some uncertainty” about the evolution of the pandemic situation, says Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, general manager of the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED).
As he asserts, this era is “essential for niche retail” and above all essential for the fashion, gaming and cosmetic sectors that “need to re-launch”. According to him, the retailers are excited about repeat customers and are recording “interesting revenue, and in some sectors, such as electronics and furniture, higher than 2019”.
“Traffic is recovering well,” says Cristina Santos, a member of the Executive Committee at Sonae Sierra, even though there was a 3% drop in sales in the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period in 2019.
Hundreds have been recruited
El Corte Inglés has gone on to hire more than 500 people nationwide, for a period of two to four months, with employment possible after that period. The chain wants employees for the supermarket, warehouse, replacement and for all sales areas, especially with the increased demand at this time, such as toys, Christmas decorations and packaging.
As in previous years, Fnac is strengthening its operations in logistics, e-commerce and convenience stores. The retailer, indicating an increase in sales compared to 2019, despite the questions inherent in the health context and the economic situation of the country, estimates an increase of about 15% in the number of employees, that is, strengthening 255 people.
To ensure the people necessary for peak sales associated with the Black Friday and Christmas campaigns, Worten is fielding with “hundreds of new hires, mostly for salesman and logistics operator jobs,” says an official brand source.
Ikea, which focuses heavily on e-commerce, has not bet on a big hiring for this time of year as it has already identified some summer employees who will ensure needs are met.
Over the past few months, Continente has made sure to adjust the configuration and size of its store and its logistics operations.
Jerónimo Martins Group has stated that it will only strengthen the teams of the 21 Hussell Chocolate Stores with one more employee.
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