Macy's boosts holiday season hiring for online business

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Macy's Inc said on Wednesday it would hire 5,500 more seasonal workers over last year at its online fulfillment centers to handle the expected avalanche of orders for the holiday season, as it fends off competition from Walmart and Amazon.

The department store chain said it would hire a total of 80,000 temporary workers for the upcoming holiday shopping season, with 23,500 located at fulfillment centers across the United States.

The company said it expected a strong holiday shopping season, noting the rest of the hires would be based in call centers, shop floors at Macy's and Bloomingdale's and to support its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Macy's shares, which have risen about 44 percent this year, were up 1.8 percent at $37.05 in early trading.

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The company has been investing heavily to boost its online presence to lure back shoppers who had shifted to rivals such as online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc.

Macy's online business clocked double-digit growth in the second quarter, with sales through its mobile app rising more than 50 percent in the first half of its fiscal year from a year earlier.

Last September, Macy's said it would hire 80,000 workers for the holiday shopping season, but added 7,000 in December following strong Black Friday sales.

Seasonal hiring plans of retailers indicate their sales expectations for the holiday season, which starts a day after Thanksgiving and continues into early January, and accounts for nearly a third of their annual sales.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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