Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) conduct their big seasonal hiring push during the lucrative holiday season, but Christmas comes a little later for Home Depot (NYSE:HD). The largest U.S. home-improvement retailer sees Spring as its Christmas, and that’s why the company is now gearing up to add 80,000 seasonal workers to its workforce.
According to Bloomberg, Tim Crow, executive vice president of human resources for Home Depot, said in a telephone interview this week that the retailer will take on the same number of part-time workers for its busiest sales season as it did in 2013. Spring is known as the most popular time for home renovations, and thanks to a recovering economy and a bitterly cold winter, Home Depot expects its business to be as strong as ever, with Americans itching to get out into the warm weather and do some home improvement.
To support that expected demand in home improvement tools and services, Crow says that Home Depot plans on adding workers to run cash registers and assist customers in its garden centers and on the sales floor. Though the new job opportunities are available only on a seasonal basis, Home Depot expects to permanently employ thousands of the new hires that perform up to the company’s standards. Home Depot also hired close to 80,000 workers during the Spring of 2012 and 2013, and Bloomberg reports that last year, about half of the seasonal hires were promoted to permanent positions. Crow maintained in his phone interview that, “Spring is our peak hiring season, giving us the opportunity to find some of the best associates who are passionate about customer service.”
According to Bloomberg, Home Depot has almost 2,000 stores in the U.S., and the retailer is finally benefiting from an increase in home values over the past two years that has inspired owners to spend more on their properties. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that the nationwide median price for an existing single-family home rose 10.1 percent to $196,600 in the fourth-quarter from a year earlier, helping Home Depot’s sales gain 9.4 percent to $79.4 billion in the 12 months through November 3.
Bloomberg says that the retailer had 340,000 employees as of February 2, 2013 to support that increased demand, but now Home Depot is ready to take on more, making its announcement just weeks before it is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on February 25. Back when the housing market took a turn for the worse, investors were worried that Home Depot would go down with it, suffering from a flattened demand in home improvement supplies. However, now, things are looking up again for the Atlanta-based company, and executives are likely counting their lucky stars that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently reported that the number of new housing construction projects rose 18.3 percent in 2013 to about 923,400, as reported by USA Today.
Home Depot shares were trading around $77.13 Thursday amid the company’s encouraging news, and the stock has gained 16 percent in the 12 months through Tuesday.