Macy’s asks corporate employees to work volunteer store shifts

Retail giant Macy’s urged employees working in the corporate office to volunteer for three, full-day shifts working in-store, selling it as an opportunity for corporate colleagues to get face-to-face experience with their clientele.

The request was communicated in a corporate memo, where it urged corporate office employees to wear ‘comfortable, close-toed shoes and business casual dress’ to the 9am to 5pm shift (Business Insider). While this is not mandatory, it was strongly encouraged for employees to chip in to mitigate staffing shortages.

According to the Washington Post, Macy’s said that the “Holiday All Hand-On Deck” approach will give “corporate colleagues a valuable opportunity to interact and get direct feedback from customers”. 

Many companies, including many other retailers, have struggled to find workers, especially as they gear up for the holiday shopping season. Shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic led to many people to rethink their careers or not return to the workforce immediately.

Many people have also opted to work remotely and moved out of major cities because of the newfound work flexibility (People’s Policy Project). This has led to a labor shortage across many industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.6 million workers quit their retail jobs between May and September of this year.

Macy’s stated that they were aiming to hire 48,000 employees holiday-specific roles and another 28,000 employees for non-holiday-specific roles earlier this year.

The work shortage goes beyond retail employees, with Macy’s call centers, distribution centers, and fulfilment centers being a target of more hiring as well (Business Insider). Many retailers are starting to offer more competitive pay and benefits in an effort to stand out from competitors and recruit more employees. 

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