Local retailers hiring for the holidays

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - November 15, 2010

"We are hiring through early December," said Michael Lembo of Macy's. "We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic, friendly people."

The prediction is for the strongest seasonal hiring since 2008. For example, Toys R Us will have 10,000 more workers than last year, most staffing temporary stores that will close after the holidays.

Retailers are betting that consumers will want to spend this season, even though unemployment numbers are still high and the housing market is still struggling.

"I think they are loosening up a bit, given permission by the media, friends and family to loosen up the wallet," said Kathy Smith of King of Prussia. "They have compromised for a long time."

At the Plymouth Meeting Mall, shoppers were split about spending. About half still plan to keep tight hold of the purse strings.

"Gift cards and one gift. That's it this year," said Wendy Szandrocha of Horsham.

Others, however, were more bullish.

"I think we've got more to spend this year," said Jason Carter of Lafayette Hill. "I think the economy is coming back around."

By the way, this reminder: there are only 39 shopping days until Christmas.

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