If investors have been looking for one more sign that Best Buy is
Best Buy plans to bring on 15,000 seasonal employees, about half the number it hired last year. It's also going to rely on full-time staffers to put in some overtime to make up for any shortfall in manpower. According to Reuters, CEO Brad Dunn's explanation linked continued tight consumer spending this year even during the major gift-giving season.
The concept that this year's holiday shopping season could be difficult and highly competitive isn't rocket science. Wal-Mart
Best Buy's not the only retailer that's planning to get stingy with the holiday help. Toys R Us will hire 40,000 part-timers this holiday season, 5,000 less than in 2010. A Hay Group survey recently revealed that 25% of retailers intend to hire fewer holiday workers than they did last year.
Regardless, Best Buy's seriously sluggish hiring plans mostly reflect its own weakened competitive footing. Department-store retailer Macy's
Meanwhile, Best Buy's announcement that it will stock Amazon.com's
When the holiday season doesn't even look like it can help a retailer, you have to wonder whether its better days are behind it. Perhaps Best Buy can drum up some cash surprises in its Christmas stocking, but right now, the near term looks bleak, and Best Buy doesn't look like a good buy for investors.
Alyce Lomax owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon.com, and Staples and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.