Retail

Best Buy kicks off holiday season hiring with fairs across the country

Key Points
  • Best Buy is planning to hire thousands of workers ahead of the holiday season. 
  • The electronic retailers will host hiring fairs across the country in October. 
  • The National Retail Federation expects retailers to hire between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary employees this year, compared with 554,000 in 2018, despite trade uncertainty. 
Employees gather for a meeting before opening the doors at a Best Buy Co. store in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As the holidays approach, Best Buy has kicked off its seasonal hiring by hosting a number of job fairs.

The electronics retailer said Monday it plans to hire "thousands" of workers to assist with the holiday shopping season. Despite the increasingly tight labor market and concerns about how trade uncertainty will impact shopping this year, retailers have started hiring extra hands in anticipation of the holidays.

Best Buy will host a national fair on Oct. 10-11, where the company said all U.S. stores will hold interviews. The company said prospective workers can apply online or in person and that interviews will take place the same day with the potential to be hired on the spot. Hiring fairs for warehouse positions will also be held Oct. 10.

The company did not immediately respond to CNBC's questions on whether it plans to hire more or fewer workers than last year.

The National Retail Federation expects retailers to hire between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary employees this year, compared with 554,000 in 2018. Macy's announced its plan to hire 80,000 temporary workers, while Kohl's announced it plans to hire 90,000 — both in line with their seasonal hiring in 2018. Target plans to hire 130,000, up from the 120,000 it planned to hire last year.

With the unemployment rate at a 50-year low, retailers are offering benefits and perks to attract seasonal workers. Best Buy said it offers "a flexible schedule, competitive wages, 401k eligibility and an employee discount."

Last year, retailers became desperate for help during the holidays, offering workers bonuses and gift cards.

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Best Buy set new financial targets for the next five years last month. The company said it expects fiscal 2025 revenue to reach $50 billion as it pushes into in-home and health services. The electronic retailer also plans to cut an additional $1 billion in costs over the next five years through efforts such as minimizing returns. CFO Matt Bilunas said the company would adapt to a "flexible workforce model" but did not specifically say the company would be eliminating jobs.

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Key Points
  • It's still July, but Kohl's just kicked off its seasonal hiring.
  • The retailer says it hopes to fill an "early wave of seasonal positions" at 500 stores, about double the number of locations in last year's early-hiring program.
  • But skilled labor is hard to come by in the U.S.