Michigan Superstore Chain Meijer Hires More for Holiday Rush

October 05 00:00 2011

New York, October 5 (RainbowNewsLine.com) – Grand Rapids-based Meijer, Kohl’s and JC Penny are preparing for the holiday rush by hiring more seasonal workers than they did last year, which indicates that sales are expected to improve with cash-strapped customers preferring retailers with competitive prices. However, most retailers are unlikely to take on additional seasonal help as they are exercising caution in the present stagnant economy.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, a Chicago-based financial services firm, said that “It’s the move down the food chain,” and added that “The value-conscious consumer has less leverage, less income, and they’re going to go for bargains.”

Michigan superstore chain Meijer said Tuesday that hundreds of workers would be hired at its 197 stores across the Midwest but it did not reveal any specific numbers. It said that the positions would include utility clerks and cake decorators.

Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi said that “we’re feeling very confident about this holiday season. We want to win this holiday season — that’s our plan – and customer service helps you do that.” This sentiment completely counters the forecast by Chicago-based job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which had warned last month that the job hiring this season will be flat or possibly lower than the 627,600 retail workers who were added from October through December in 2010, due to the economic slowdown.