Retail chain Kohl’s Corp. and e-retail giant Amazon.com Inc. are bolstering their operations for the back-to-school shopping season.
Kohl’s announced that it is hiring seasonal positions in more than 300 locations, including its distribution and e-commerce fulfillment centers, as well as in its 1,100 stores and credit operations, which are customer service centers for Kohls.com orders. The positions are available now for the back-to-school season and are to remain through the Christmas holiday season.
On Amazon’s Off To College page, consumers can shop for college-appropriate products, such as dorm decor, electronics and textbooks. The e-retailer also is encouraging college students to ship products to an Amazon pickup location that is on or near their college, so students don’t have to travel with their new, often bulky, products.
Amazon also touts its Prime Student loyalty program on the Off to College landing page. Prime Student is similar to Amazon’s normal Prime offering, just less expensive and with fewer perks.
EBay Inc. also is vying for shoppers’ back-to-school dollars, as the marketplace announced this week it is expanding its price-matching program to more than 100,000 items across its marketplace, up from 50,000 items.
The back-to-school shopping season is the second-highest spending period for consumers, after the Christmas holiday shopping period, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2017, the NRF projected shoppers would spend about $83.6 billion for both online and in-store back-to-school goods. The NRF did not supply confirmed 2017 figures.
Moody’s lead retail analyst Charlie O’Shea expects the 2018 back-to-school shopping season to be highly competitive, especially with Amazon’s Prime Day sales holiday coming up. Prime Day has been held in mid-July since its inception in 2015. Amazon has said it will host another Prime Day sale this year but has yet to confirm when.
“Every year, this critical season for retailers seems to start earlier and earlier, and this year is no different,” says O’Shea “The aggressive promotional environment will continue this season, with the ongoing price battle between Walmart and Amazon creating ripple effects that will continue to be felt throughout retail.”