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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Retailers and shippers are on a mad pre-holiday hiring spree, making them one of the few industries adding jobs during COVID-19.

Why it matters: With the entire country turning to online shopping, shippers across the U.S. are preparing for unprecedented package volumes — around 80 million per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas — and frustrating delays.

Between the lines: This should finally erase any distinctions between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Retailers are also quickly building out warehouses and adding alternatives to delivery.

  • Amazon has announced the addition of seven new warehouses in just the last month, notes Recode's Jason Del Rey.
  • Walmart is adding pop-up warehouses.
  • Kohl's and Target have doubled parking spaces for customers taking advantage of curbside pickup, per AP.

The bottom line: 7 million packages could experience delays per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the president of ShipMatrix, Satish Jindel, tells the AP.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

The silver lining in 2020's weak Black Friday sales

Data: Placer.ai; Chart: Axios Visuals

Black Friday was disappointing for retailers this year, as spending numbers underwhelmed and foot traffic declined dramatically, according to data from analytics firm Placer.ai.

By the numbers: Customer visits were down, on average, more than 26% compared to Black Friday 2019 at the six retailers Placer tracked.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

6 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

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