Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report plans to focus its temporary workforce on fulfilling online orders this holiday season, in a bid to become the safest place to shop in America, the chief executive said.
The Minneapolis retail giant will hire 130,000 workers for the holiday season. A majority of them will manage in-store pickups for online orders and same-day curbside deliveries.
The company is doubling the workforce in these contactless deliveries, compared with a year earlier.
"We’re preparing for a holiday season unlike any we’ve seen before,” CEO Brian Cornell said on a call with reporters, Bloomberg reported.
“We don’t want to just be the easiest place to shop in America, but the safest," Cornell added.
As of Feb. 1, 2020, Target employed 368,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal staff.
So far the U.S. has 6,951,789 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 202,000 people have died from the disease.
“Certain trends from earlier this year will continue during the holiday season. We continue to see the guests gravitate towards the ease and convenience and contact-free ways to shop through our digital channels," Cornell explained.
“We expect guests to start shopping earlier and shop throughout the season. We’re not expecting long lines on Black Friday morning. But we certainly expect a very engaged consumer and a Target guest who’s looking forward to celebrating the holiday season.”
Due to coronavirus lockdowns, the company reported 10 million new customers among online sales through its website in the first half of the year.
To keep track of inventory Target also plans to delegate more employees to its distribution centers compared with last year.
Employees will be cross-trained so they can switch from task to task as needed, from disinfecting shopping carts to helping with curbside pickup during peak hours, CNBC reported.
Last year, the big-box retailer fell short of analyst expectations and missed its holiday season target due to weak sales in segments like toys and electronics.
Shares of Target at last check were up 0.7% at $151.99.