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Retailers to Hire Less Holiday Staff

Store spokesmen at Saks and Nordstrom say they won't be hiring seasonal holiday staff.

Macy's

’Tisn’t the season to be looking for seasonal work at retail.

This story first appeared in the November 24, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A spot check of major stores reveals that most say they’re adequately staffed for the Christmas season; however, a few are still looking for extra holiday hands.

Although 2008 holiday hires aren’t available yet, retailers had 618,000 holiday hires in 2007, up 3.6 percent from the 596,000 holiday hires in 2006. That figure was down 5.3 percent from the 629,000 holiday hires in 2005, according to the National Retail Federation.

Here’s the rundown according to stores’ spokesmen:

Saks Fifth Avenue: “Saks Fifth Avenue is adequately staffed for the holidays and will need to do minimal hiring.”

Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus: “Neither [Bergdorf Goodman nor Neiman Marcus] typically hires extra seasonal help beyond a very few associates in trim-a-tree and sales support staff (gift wrap, loading dock, etc.). This year is no different in that respect.”

Nordstrom: “We are not [hiring additional holiday help this season]. We are filling positions as they come open, a few positions here and there as we need them, but we are not hiring for the holidays this year.”

Macy’s: “We are staffing up as always for the holidays. Seasonal hiring nationwide will be roughly the same as last year, but a bit less than originally planned for this year. Staffing is handled by each store, based on its needs.”

Barneys New York: “Yes. We have hired extra holiday help. No, not on the scale of years past.”

Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy: “Yes, we are [hiring for the holidays]. One of our top priorities every season is to provide our customers with a fun and easy shopping experience. Each year we do hire holiday help at each of our brands, which include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. Unfortunately, we don’t share information on our holiday figures.”