Sept 14 (Reuters) - This holiday season Macy's Inc will employ more workers at its distribution and warehouses to support its online business as it operates 70 fewer stores compared to last year.
The department store operator said on Thursday it would hire 18,000 workers to fulfill online orders, including shipping and packaging, up 20 percent from a year earlier.
In total, the company plans to hire around 80,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season, down from 83,000 last year.
The news comes a day after rival Target Corp said it would hire 43 percent more seasonal workers, or a total of 100,000 workers, for the holiday season.
It was for the first time in five years that Target increased the number of holiday workers it would hire, following the retailer's first comparable sales rise in more than a year. Seasonal hiring plans typically point to retailers' sales expectations for the holiday season, which starts a day after Thanksgiving and continues into early January, and accounts for nearly a third of the companies' annual sales.
U.S. staffing firm Radial expects retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren Corp and Toys R Us, to hire 35 percent more workers this holiday season to fill positions at distribution centers as well as for ancillary services in stores such as order-online-pick-up-in-store and doorstep delivery.
Macy's, like other department store operators, has been grappling with weak sales for years, as shoppers spend less on apparel and more on experiences, and competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc intensifies.
For fiscal year ending January, Macy's expects its sales to fall between 3.2 percent and 4.3 percent, with comparable store sales declining 2 percent to 3 percent.
Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur