With plans to operate 600 temporary toy shops for the holidays, Toys R Us Inc. said Monday that it would bulk up its workforce by hiring about 45,000 seasonal workers nationwide, more than it has hired during each of the last three Christmas seasons.
Toys R Us said the temporary employees would double its domestic workforce. In previous years, the company added about 35,000 employees during the Christmas season.
The Wayne, N.J., retailer said that 35,000 of this year's seasonal hires would staff the company's 587 traditional Toys R Us stores and that 10,000 of the temporary employees would work at the Toys R Us Express pop-up locations. Seasonal workers will also be hired to work in the company's nine distribution centers across the country.
The company said high-performing seasonal workers might be offered permanent positions after the holidays.
The aggressive expansion of the Express stores to 600 — there were only 90 of them nationwide last year — will bring about 70 pop-up shops to California, of which more than 40 will be in the Los Angeles area.
Toys R Us is also opening about 10 FAO Schwarz holiday pop-up shops around the country, including one at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
In its annual holiday hiring forecast released this month, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said sales gains in recent months could lead to increased holiday hiring by the nation's retailers this year. But it added that the number of seasonal workers added to retailers' payrolls from October through December was still likely to fall short of pre-recession levels.
Last week, Macy's Inc. announced that it planned to hire 65,000 holiday workers, a slight increase from previous years. The department store giant said the increased hiring level reflected the company's expectations for sales at stores open at least a year to increase 3% to 3.5% in the second half of fiscal 2010, which ends in January.