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National  + Retail  | 

Retailers Next Challenge: Stocking Store Workers this Holiday Season

Retailers are facing a new challenge this holiday shopping season, and interestingly the pain it is coming from a different place. In the past, retailers had a tough time filling stockroom jobs, but as a result of the ultra low unemployment and rising wages, this year there appears to be a shortfall of seasonal workers for the sales floor.

Retailers such as Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and Target Corp. have ramped up holiday hiring efforts early. That includes offering higher pay and incentives such as profit-sharing and paid time off to attract workers to staff stores.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the number of openings of all types exceed the number of hires from March through June for the first time in a decade. And the number of retail job openings nationally reached 757,000 retail in July, which is roughly 100,000 more than the same time a year ago. LinkedIn data suggests there’s a shortage of workers with retail skills in big cities like New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

At the same time, logistics companies have executed aggressive seasonal hiring plans. Delivery companies such as UPS and FedEx plan to bring on roughly 155,000 holiday workers combined.

The current retail hiring push runs counter to moves made by many retailers over the past few years to close stores and trim staff in an effort to remain competitive against rising online buying. Their efforts to bring on more people in a strong economy now is likely to create a war for retail talent. And employment experts say hiring sales representatives has historically been hard to do in the U.S. The shortage could also thwart growth plans if retailers are not able to find workers for their stores.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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