Region 8 Stores Gearing Up For Holiday Shoppers

November 17, 2004 – Posted at 2:01 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but in many places, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The holiday shopping season has arrived in Region 8, and many retailers are gearing up for a big spending year.

Dillard's Manager Karen Gray said, "It seems like it starts earlier and earlier every year. Customers are shopping earlier this year, and it seems to be a little better this Christmas season."

Holiday shopping has already started in Region 8 and many stores are gearing up. The Christmas trees are sparkling, the cash registers are ringing, and shoppers are searching for that perfect gift.

"A lot of customers like to wait to see what else we will get in closer to Christmas. We do have our early bird shoppers that get it all finished by the end of October, but a lot of people do like to see what we will get closer to Christmas time," said Gray.

If you have already started your holiday shopping you may have already noticed a few extra faces in the stores. That's because places like the Jonesboro Dillard's hires extra holiday help.

"We've tried to do our best to staff up," said Gray, "We still need to hire a few more sales associates and gift wrappers for the season."

Gray says the Dillard's store stock is up about 8% from last year and that means more help is needed.

"We do hire a lot of seasonal help for the sales associates jobs," said Gray, "We try not to overflow the floor with sales associates, so they can make their sales."

And even a temporary job can turn into a career.

"We have our basic customer service associates that stay with us all year long, and then we hire five or six gift wrappers, just for the season. If they want to stay on board afterwards, we try to put them on the floor as a sales associate," said Gray.

Holiday retail sales are expected to be slightly stronger than last year.