Macy's boosts holiday hiring plans after 'great start'
Shares of Macy's (M) were given a boost after the retailer said it had a strong start to the holiday season and said it would hire an additional 7,000 seasonal workers. ADDITIONAL SEASONAL HIRES: Macy's said this morning that it will hire an additional 7,000 temporary workers for positions at its stores across the U.S. for the Christmas and holiday season. In anticipation of continuing demand and strong traffic, the company is adding associates "to ensure that customers continue to receive the high level of service they have come to expect from us," said John Harper, Macy's chief stores officer, adding that "Macy's has had a great start to this holiday season with high customer volume across our business." In September, Macy's announced plans to hire about 80,000 seasonal workers, fewer than it hired for the 2016 holiday season. Macy's operates 70 fewer stores than it did last year. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Macy's and other retailers and department stores have been hurt by the increasing popularity of fast-fashion retailers like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, as well as an increase in online shopping on sites such as Amazon (AMZN). Macy's has permanently lowered its headcount through the closure of 100 stores, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. According to comScore, U.S. desktop retail e-commerce spending for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2017. Thanksgiving Day saw a 22% gain to $1.57B in spending, while Black Friday followed with an even stronger spending day with $2.36B in desktop online sales, up 20% from Black Friday 2016. Macy's was one of the top online shopping sites during the period, comScore said. In November, Macy's reported a mixed quarter, but backed its sales and earnings guidance for FY17, with CEO Jeff Gennette saying, "We are excited about our plans for holiday, which is when Macy's truly shines as a gifting destination." PRICE ACTION: Macy's was up 1.2% to $24.08 in morning trading, though shares are down over 32% year-to-date. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other retailers trading higher this morning include J.C. Penney (JCP), Kohl's (KSS) and Sears (SHLD), which reported a better than expected third quarter yesterday. M AMZN JCP KSS SHLD