Many stores plan to increase seasonal hiring this year

Retailers generally expect a good holiday season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With the holiday shopping season approaching, many retailers plan to hire more seasonal workers than in recent years.

Nell Hill's, a home decorating store in the Northland, has already increased their staff.

One of their new hires is MarLynne Morrison, who retired a year ago after more than 20 years in retail.

"Just enough time to realize how much I enjoy working and enjoy being with people," Morrison said.

Now she's back on the floor. Nell Hill's has hired seven holiday employees here and three at their Atchison, Kan., store.

Owner Mary Carol Garrity said the holidays are big for them.

"Every year it kind of grows and we need a few more people, especially at this location because it's only five years," Garrity said, noting that sales at their Northland store have risen every year.

Retailers are expecting a strong holiday season, so more stores are adding seasonal staff. According to a survey from the Hay Group , 57 percent of retailers plan to hire the same number of holiday workers as last year, with about a third adding even more than before.

The shop Stuff near 63rd and Brookside just added six new employees. They're following another trend in that many will stay on after the holidays.

Co-owner Cason Simmons said it takes skilled employees to provide good customer service as the store gets busier before Christmas.

"If we do that now and spend a little extra dollars training and extra hours now to keep those employees happy and experienced, then we believe that will pay off," Simmons said.

They even expanded during the recession, a move Simmons says helped keep their business strong. And Simmons expects some of this year's temporary help to stay on as permanent employees.

Garrity said that's also what happens at Nell Hill's. As business grows, she said they frequently keep holiday staffers on year-round.

Morrison said she definitely hopes to stay around after the holidays.

"From the time I've been here, I realize this would be a place that I would enjoy working, even on to full-time," Morrison said.

Both stores say that seasonal employment is a good way for both sides to see if staying on will work out. Employment experts agree that if you're looking for a permanent job somewhere, a good way to get your foot in the door is as a seasonal worker.

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