Home Depot to hire 70,000 seasonal workers

Is the timing right?

By Jonathan Berr Jan 12, 2012 1:07PM
Image: Woman Using a Spirit Level on a Sink in a Domestic Bathroom (© Alex Wilson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Home Depot (HD), the largest home improvement retailer, is speeding up plans to hire 70,000 seasonal workers ahead of its busy spring shopping period. The move comes as consumer spending is slowing.

The chain, which raised its earnings outlook in November for the third time in six months, says the workers will help it maintain high levels of customer service as the public buys plants, gardening equipment and grills, along with other seasonal merchandise. Tim Crow, Home Depot's executive vice president of human resources, told Bloomberg News that the Atlanta, Ga., company is starting the hiring process earlier this year, beginning next month in South Florida.

"There's an early-mover advantage," he said. "There is competition for the best employees."

U.S. retailers hiked their hiring by 14.5% in the fourth quarter, as companies expected to have a solid holiday season. Those hopes appear to have been dashed. Retail sales rose less than expected in December, indicating that consumers kept a firm grip on their wallets even though retailers like Macy's (M) offered steep discounts. Many companies, such as Target (TGT), reported disappointing holiday sales. Best Buy (BBY) may have disappointed customers by failing to get some orders delivered in time for the holidays.

If struggling retailers cut staffing, it may be easier than expected for Home Depot to hire temporary workers.

Jonathan Berr owns shares of Target.

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Tags: BBYHDMTGT
2Comments
Jan 12, 2012 2:01PM
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Don't worry HD share holders. Hd shares still could go up despite the obvious expenses related to hiring, all they say is better than expected or optimistic and Walla! it goes up like crazy it is.
Jan 12, 2012 4:55PM
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 please do not underestimate lowes,they treat their employees much better than hd. they match 401k by 6% after the first 6 months,and your totally vested,even if you quit within the first yearyou can keep all the money lowes put into your account,lowes employees also get a 10% discount which hd does not give to its employees,you are also given vacation time after 6 months.lowes will outperform hd,just give us time.a lowes employee,and damn proud of it  russ boyd.
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