Holiday hirings well underway


Toys R Us is hiring 5,000 more holiday workers this year compared to last year. The toy retailer plans to add 45,000 temporary employees nationwide. That is a nearly 13 percent jump from the 40,000 seasonal workers the company hired in 2011. Toys R Us, like many retailers, hires thousands of temporary workers during the important holiday season, which can account for up to 40 percent of a retailer's annual revenue.Toys R Us said part of the increase is to help fulfill customer orders made with its new online shipping options, such as ordering online and picking up items in store; as well as its free layaway program and its new toy reservation system. Toys R Us has been beefing up these options to help draw customers into stores, as it faces increasing competition from online retailers and discount stores. {}Toys R Us says the extra help will be around through the new year, and possibly lead to full-time employment. {}"With substantial growth opportunities available, these seasonal jobs have the potential to become full-time positions for high-performing employees," according to a statement from the retailer. "Last year, approximately 15 percent of the holiday workforce retained positions with Toys R Us after the season ended."Last week, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it expects to hire more than 50,000 people this holiday season. {}Which is up slightly from last year. {}Also Walmart will be offering more hours to its existing employees. {}Additionally, department store operator Kohl's said last week it will be hiring more than 52,700 people, a 10 percent jump from 2011.There is a slight difference in Target. {}Target said it plans to hire 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal employees this holiday season. {}That is down from the 92,000 added last year, as retailers approach this critical period with caution.Research firm ShopperTrak says U.S. retail sales should rise 3.3 percent this holiday season. Kurt Salmon, another retail consulting firm, expects a 4.2 percent increase in sales.