10/29/17 — Local businesses seek part-time help handling the Holiday season rush

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Local businesses seek part-time help handling the Holiday season rush

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on October 29, 2017 1:45 AM

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Taylor Pate stocks items for holiday shoppers at From the Heart store, inside the Berkeley Mall.

Area retailers are stocking their shelves and ramping up staffing levels in preparation for the start of the holiday shopping season.

While a variety of retail jobs are available at area stores, some locations already have employees in place. Some seasonal hires may end up landing more permanent employment.

"If we have someone who comes in and exceeds company expectations, then we'll consider future employment with them," said Rosa Barrow, merchandise supervisor with J.C. Penney at the Berkeley Mall, at 625 N. Berkeley Blvd.

J.C. Penney recently had a national hiring day, on Oct. 17, in an effort to hire 40,000 seasonal associates. The company increases staffing levels in October and continues to accept seasonal employment applications throughout the holiday season.

"We've actually already geared up for the holiday," Barrow said. "We had our national day of hiring, which (a week ago) Tuesday. We actually hired 16 people."

The hiring level is normal for the store during the holiday season. The store continues to accept applications, as some employees may not continue through the holiday season or other store needs arise, Barrow said.

"We accept applications all year," she said.

J.C. Penney is one of many area stores seeking employees to handle increased customer traffic, during the busiest shopping season of the year.

Online jobs are available at area chain retailers, including Target, Lowe's Home Improvement, Lane Bryant, Big Lots, PetSmart and Bath and Body Works, Old Navy and Dick's Sporting Goods. Dunham's Sports is also hiring.

"Part-time associates enjoy flexible hours, extra spending money and a merchandise discount that will help with holiday shopping," said Michael Potter, in a Dunham's press release.

From the Heart, a popular gift shop inside Berkeley Mall, has also hired additional employees for the holiday season.

"Right now, at this very second, it's pretty well staffed," said Becky Earp, manager. "We may hire another one or two seasonal employees."

The hirings started in September, which offers enough time for employees to be trained for the holiday rush.

"We can't wait until the week of Thanksgiving to train our seasonal staff," Earp said.

From the Heart, known for its personalized Christmas ornaments and a variety of seasonal holiday items, has about 16 employees ready for an expected busy season.

"We're gearing up for a good season," Earp said. "Of course, it's the busiest time of the year. We do a lot of business between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1."

Every September, retailers ready stores for the holiday shopping season, which starts Nov. 1. Sales in November and December are expected to increase 3.6 percent to $658 billion nationwide, according to the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association.