While customers clip coupons, sift through Black Friday ads and hunt for hot toys, stores are looking for extra employees to help man the seasonal sales. For those searching for jobs, both part time and full time, the holiday season marks the ideal time to land a retail gig.
As seasonal hiring begins, many stores plan to hire the same amount of employees as last year. Best Buy plans to add 29,000 holiday employees again. JCPenney stores will take on about 30,000 seasonal staff members, which is flat from last year. Target also hopes to keep its hires in line with previous years. Starting in October, Limited Brands plans to to add just over 50,000 for the second year in a row at its stores, which include names such as Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works. Walmart anticipates hiring the same amount as in recent years, but the number of newbies will be decided locally, meaning that it will vary from store to store.
According to the Courier-Journal.com, 2009 resulted in a 30% increase in holiday helpers for a total of 501,400 positions nationwide. John A. Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, expects to see a continued rise, but doesn't think the numbers will reach the 746,800 seasonal jobs held in 2006. Challenger was quoted in the LA Times saying, "There is still a lot of doubt about the sustainability of this economy. Retailers do not want to be caught with too many workers at a time when many of the fundamentals needed for strong consumer spending remain a little shaky."
Macy's and Toys R Us, on the other hand, seem far from hesitant to hire this holiday season. Both stores plan to increase the number of seasonal staff this year. Macy's will take on a total of 65,000, as they hope for a 3% to 3.5% increase in sales, at stores open for at least one year, in the second half of this year. Toys R Us plans to add 45,000 workers, more than six times last year's amount. Many of the new staff members will power 600 temporary "Express" Toys R Us shops, set up in malls and shopping centers for gift grabbing before the holidays. Most of the express stores will close in January, but Toys R Us kept a few of these temporary locations open after the 2009 holiday season concluded, and CEO Jerry Storch intimated at a press event in New York earlier this month that the same could be true this year.
For those whose seasonal jobs remain temporary ones or those who fail to land a job this season, don't despair. Some stores, such as Home Deopt, hire help after the traditional holiday rush. Although the third biggest seller in holiday decor, including decorations such as lights and trees, Home Deopt receives a bigger rush in the spring. Depending on the size, most locations hire between 10 and 15 seasonal workers. Steve Homes, senior manager of corporate communications at Home Depot said that a few stores in the western and southern regions start the hiring process as early as December due to warmer weather, but most Home Depot branches start looking for extra help in January and February. "As some folks are wrapping up their work during Christmas, they can keep their eye on opportunities with us," said Holmes.
Looking to apply? Follow the links:
Best Buy, 29,000 jobs, bestbuy-jobs.com
JCPenney, 30,000 jobs, jcpenney.net/careers
Limited Brands, 50,000 jobs, limitedbrands.jobs
Macy's, 65,000 jobs, macysjobs.com
Toys R Us, 45,000 jobs, toysrusinc.com/careers
Home Depot, 10 to 15 jobs per store, careers.homedepot.com
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