Macy’s needs to hire 7,000 more employees to keep pace with holiday-shopping traffic

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Department-store operator Macy’s Inc. surprised investors Friday with news that it plans to hire an additional 7,000 seasonal employees for its Macy’s stores, following a “great start” to the holiday season.

Macy’s M, +1.64% had previously said it would hire 80,000 seasonal workers, down from 83,000 a year ago. The company has struggled in recent years with competition from online competitors, notably Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.22% , and is currently in the middle of a turnaround scheme that has included job cuts, store closures and other measures.

Macy’s most recent quarterly results were hurt by hurricane-related sales issues, while unseasonably warm weather dented demand for winter clothes and boots. On Black Friday, there was more pain when credit-card problems interrupted sales on one of the year’s busiest shopping days.

“Due to the strong traffic in our stores, we are adding associates in our stores across the country to ensure that customers continue to receive the high level of service they have come to expect from us,” said Chief Stores Officer John Harper. “We are excited to be further expanding our seasonal workforce.”

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The company is encouraging job candidates to apply at Macy’sJobs.com, with positions available at all stores nationwide.

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Macy’s stock was last trading up 1.2%. The stock has tumbled 33% in 2017 but has climbed 11% over the past three months. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, -0.48% has rallied 10% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.20% has risen by 6.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.17% has gained 10%.

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