Area holiday hiring to match last season’s
Posted: October 3, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The holiday season is expected to bring more than cold weather this year.
Jobs should also be appearing.
Local Walmart, Kohl’s, Toys R Us, Kmart and Target locations all plan to increase their staffs through December.
Yet despite some predictions that this will be the best holiday job market in several years, local numbers might not see big jumps compared to last year.
Pat Swiger, manager of the Toys R Us at 655 E. Jubal Early Drive, said the store plans to hire about 50 people — which is equal to last year.
The Target at Winchester Commons also plans to hire the same amount as last year, according to store manager Stephanie Klos.
“It goes up and down, but it’s always about 20 to 25,” she said.
The Kmart at 1675 S. Pleasant Valley Road plans to hire eight to 12 seasonal employees by Nov. 1, manager Wayne Beery said.
According to an annual study commissioned by Snagajob, the Richmond-based hourly employment network, 63 percent of hiring managers nationwide will make seasonal hires this year, compared to 51 percent last year.
Managers also plan to add more workers — 6.1 on average compared to 4.1 last year — as they expect increased spending due to a recovering economy.
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, said Tuesday that it expects sales during the winter holiday shopping period in November and December to rise 4.1 percent this year over 2011. That’s more than a percentage point lower than the growth in each of the past two years, and the smallest increase since 2009, when sales were up just 0.3 percent.
Nationwide, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. expects to hire more than 50,000 people this holiday season and will be offering more hours to its existing employees, but it’s unclear if that trend will extend to its three Winchester-area locations.
The company declined to provide local hiring numbers.
The world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., operates more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and employs about 1.4 million people nationwide, making it the nation’s largest private employer.
The company announced Friday that this year’s seasonal hiring will be up slightly from last year, although it didn’t give a precise figure for the increase.
Kohl’s announced Sept. 25 that it will be hiring more than 52,700 people — an average of 41 per store — up more than 10 percent from last year.
The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company declined to give exact hiring figures for its South Pleasant Valley Road location, one of 1,146 Kohl’s stores in 49 states.
The Kohl’s distribution center south of Winchester Regional Airport on Admiral Byrd Drive should also see increased positions.
Kohl’s expects to hire 5,700 people at its nine distribution centers. Hiring began this month, and most jobs will be filled by mid-November, according to a company news release.
Stores typically begin to hire for the holidays in mid-September and ramp up hiring in mid-October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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