Lynchburg, VA - According to the National Retail Federation, sales this winter holiday season will rise more than 4 %. There is also a slight uptick in hiring this year too.
It may be up, but this is still below pre-recession levels according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas Incorporated.
"We're going to be doing probably double the business we do now. A lot more traffic in the malls at Christmas time," said Chuck Stewart, the district manager at Farmers Garden.
Stewart, Hickory Farms district manager, says the applications are pouring in. He says they're about to start hiring so they have enough people to sell their highly sought-after food items.
"Hickory Farms gift packages, cheese balls, the summer sausage."
In fact, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc., an outplacement consulting firm, Hickory Farms plans to hire more than 5,200 people nationwide this holiday season.
The firm says general merchandise stores like Target are typically the biggest generator of seasonal jobs, but clothing and accessory stores are the next most fruitful place to apply. They hired more than 195,000 workers a year ago.
Take clothing store Justice, for instance.
"We can start hiring at the age of 16, so that's even doubled what most stores are seeing because we have girls coming in who are going on Christmas break who are looking for jobs when they are out of school. College students are coming in, it's just a lot of people," said Sara Cash, assistant manager at Justice.
Retailers say those hoping to land employment need to take advantage of seasonal hiring now.
As for other national holiday hiring announcements - according to Challenger Gray and Christmas, Target plans to hire at least 80,000, Kohl's more than 52,000, and Amazon 5,000.
Read the whole report here.