Best Buy will cut its hiring of holiday workers in half this year.
The largest consumer electronics chain in the world will hire 15,000 temporary workers this holiday season, compared to 29,000 last year. In compensation, it is asking full-time employees to work overtime.
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told Reuters the company is expecting consumers will be tight on spending during the holidays. “The consumer is being really careful about where he or she is spending the dollars, and I think that will continue through the holidays,” he said.
Advisory firm, Deloitte predicts overall holiday retail sales growth of 2.5 to 3 percent compared to last year. This is lower than last year’s growth of 5.9 percent.
Online, catalog and TV shopping sales should grow 14 percent this year, with most of the gains in online sales.
(Hint: If you aren’t updating your web site weekly, it’s time to start.)
Best Buy notes that 60 percent of its customers visit its web site before coming into the store!
Deloitte says holiday shoppers will be researching online and on their smartphones before buying and during their trips to the stores. Retailers with a strong web strategy will have the advantage, said Deloitte’s Alison Paul. “The brick-and-mortar store is still central to the shopper experience. Retailers that integrate the power of the sensory experience in-store with relevant, timely information via their websites and mobile applications are well-positioned to lead the way this holiday season.”
For its part, Best Buy has been feeling the pinch from Walmart and Amazon and other online stores.
Earlier this month, the chain reported a net income loss of 30 percent for the second quarter, hitting $177 million, which is down from $254 million last year.
Best Buy same store revenues fell 2.8 percent during the quarter.
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