Businesses add workers to help with holiday sales

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 1, 2003

Retailers are swamped with customers buying Christmas gifts andbusiness is good. Increased holiday business is also good forstudents and others seeking employment to earn extra money.

DeAnna Caston, a biology major at Millsaps College, said sheaccepted a job at Sam Goody’s about four weeks ago to earn a fewextra dollars “mainly to buy Christmas gifts for familymembers.”

Finances for college students can be a bit tight this time ofyear, she said, and the money she makes working part-time at thestore can help ease that load.

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“As long as you are able to fit a job into your schedule, you’llbe fine,” Caston said.

Many jobs offered during the holiday season are only temporary,said Chantay Evans, manager of the store, but necessary forretailers to meet the increased demands from their customers.

“If we didn’t have our seasonal help we couldn’t make it,” Evanssaid. “They are the key. If we didn’t have them we would all gocrazy.”

Seasonal work is fine with Caston. She intends to return toMillsaps to continue her studies after the holiday season.

Rebecca Chambers, owner of Sisters By Design, said they beganpreparing for the holiday rush months ago and hired five seasonalpart-timers in late August and early September. Several of theseasonal workers are employed wrapping gifts at the store.

“We do a lot of Christmas wrapping now,” she said.

Unlike most seasonal employees, some of the workers at SistersBy Design may have employment after the season is over. Chamberssaid she may be able to retain a few who are not returning toschool.

Pat Hennington, owner of Progressive Men’s Shop, said he triesto retain the same seasonal workers each year because they alreadyknow the store, the products, and, quite frequently, thecustomers.

He currently has four part-timers. One is new, but three haveworked with him before during previous seasons.

“Once you get them, they want to stay and come back everyChristmas until they go off to college. That’s fine with me,”Hennington said.

Most retail stores have already hired their seasonal help, but afew still have openings.

Ronnie Haraughty, manager of the Stage Department Store, saidshe has already hired two seasonal workers but has a few slotsleft.

“The two weeks before Christmas is our busiest time, so I justneed to get those spots filled before then,” she said.