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Holiday help may stick
Retailers seeking quality in quantity
Nicole Reh shops Tuesday at Old Navy. Some Forsyth County retailers have hired extra help for the holiday season. - photo by Autumn McBride

The holiday shopping season is about to commence and Forsyth County retailers are ready for the crowds, thanks to some help from valuable seasonal employees.

Old Navy on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming has added between 10 and 15 people to its staff.

With 75 regular and seasonal employees, spokesman Derrick Smith said the store is “excited about the Thanksgiving holiday and some of the things we’re doing in order to enable us to hire more.”

Smith said seasonal employment hiring began “the first or second week in October and that will last all the way through Christmas ... to the second or third week in January.”

The clothing retailer is a popular place to work, largely because of two factors.

“One, we have flexible hours,” he said. “So if you’re looking for part-time work, there’s a job that we have for you.

“We also have a generous discount that we give on our products for the people that are working for us.”

Seasonal jobs will last a little longer at Kohl’s this year, said store manager Larry Wilkerson. While hiring began in October, the positions may last past January.

“The store is going to do a remodel in January, so we are going to keep our seasonal help indefinitely,” he said. “The help we hired for the holidays we plan on keeping a lot of them until spring.”

Wilkerson said the staff at the store, which is also off Market Place, increased by about 50 percent this season.

Even without the remodeling, the work force increase is something his customers demand. Seasonal employees are hired for more than the quantity, it’s also the quality.

“We look for just great availability and great, friendly people. We like people that like people,” Wilkerson said. “Our customers expect us to have a team here that can take care of their needs during a busy holiday season and we want to take care of that need for them.”

It’s the same at Cumming Super Target, where store manager Steve Reid said all new hires, including seasonal staff, go through training “to make sure we can provide the best customer service to our guests.”

The store on Market Place accepts applications year round, but availability is key around the holiday shopping season.

“We try to make sure we have team members when the guests would want to shop, and that’s traditionally going to be weekends,” Reid said.

Extended weekend hours will play a big role at all retailers, starting with the “Black Friday” sales.

Friday kick starts one of the busiest shopping weekends each year and one of the more exciting times to be an Old Navy employee, Smith said.

“We try to do a lot of fun things with the staff, whether it’s contests or just providing a good atmosphere for the employee,” he said.