Bass Pro Shops is readying for an expected increase in retail holiday sales with seasonal hiring plans.
The Springfield-based outdoor retailer announced it’s seeking to hire 7,000 seasonal workers at its Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores, as well as its restaurants, contact and distribution centers, and boat dealerships.
Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien said the retailer hired nearly 5,000 seasonal workers for the holidays last year, meaning plans for the 2018 season are up by roughly 40 percent.
The company is hosting an Oct. 18 hiring event at its Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores. Qualified seasonal and part-time hires may be considered for full-time employment, according to a news release.
Bass Pro, which acquired Cabela’s in September 2017 for $5 billion, has 171 U.S. and Canadian retail stores, according to its website. The count includes Cabela’s stores it purchased last year. Wlezien said Bass Pro employs more than 37,000 people.
Bass Pro’s increased hiring plans come as the National Retail Federation predicts a boost in holiday retail sales between 4.3 and 4.8 percent. That would put sales in the range of $717.5 billion to $720.9 billion, according to a news release earlier this month.
“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the release. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”
Last year, holiday sales totaled $687.9 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2016 and the largest increase since the 5.2 percent gain in 2010 after the recession ended, according to the NRF.
In August, the NRF ranked Bass Pro as No. 2 on its Hot 100 Retailers list for 94 percent growth in U.S. sales between 2016 and 2017. The industry group estimated Bass Pro’s sales at $7.8 billion last year.
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