Biz Beat

The time to feel holly, jolly and hired is now. Valley retailers seek holiday workers

Shoppers walk by a hiring sign at Vintage Faire Mall Sept. 26, 2018 in Modesto, Calif. Retailers across the Central Valley have already started hiring for the holiday season.
Shoppers walk by a hiring sign at Vintage Faire Mall Sept. 26, 2018 in Modesto, Calif. Retailers across the Central Valley have already started hiring for the holiday season.

Never mind the calendar. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, for holiday hiring.

Major retailers have already put out the “Help Wanted” sign to gear up for the holidays. And many are planning for an even bigger and busier season, and staffing up accordingly at large hiring events across the county.

Last week, Target announced it will hire 120,000 seasonal employees, up from some 100,000 last year. The retail giant will hold its third annual seasonal hiring events at all of its stores Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Candidates can meet managers and have on-the-spot interviews during that weekend. Earlier this month, the company also increased its minimum wage for all workers, including seasonal, to $12 an hour. To find out more, visit

Target’s seasonal plan matches the largest seasonal employment numbers recorded by outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks holiday hiring. Amazon, which has not released its holiday hiring numbers yet, hired some 120,000 seasonal workers last year.

At Vintage Faire Mall in north Modesto, a holiday hiring event is planned for next month as well. Mall Marketing Manager Annie Amies said multiple shops will be represented at the job fair, which will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11 in the shopping center. Stores like Macy’s, Pandora and the upcoming restaurant MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza already have signs on their windows advertising openings and encouraging people to apply. For more information, visit

The Gap has a job listing posted online for seasonal workers at Vintage Faire Mall. The clothing seller plans to hire an additional 65,000 for the holidays. Job seekers are encouraged to come to any of the the stores from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6. to apply. In its postings, the company touts its benefits and that employees receive a 50 percent discount on its line of brands including Gap, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory and Old Navy in the United States. Find more information at

Also at Vintage Faire Mall, Macy’s will have a hiring event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 18, as are its other locations nationally. The department store plans to hire some 80,000 workers this season. To find out more, visit

Kohl’s is also holding a company-wide hiring event next month. The retailer plans to hire 90,000 associates across its more than 1,100 stores and distribution centers nationwide, including shops in Modesto, Turlock and Riverbank. The job fair will be at select Kohl’s locations Oct. 20, though exact locations have not been released yet. Like Target, Kohl’s hopes to attract workers with new perks this season. That includes offering a 35 percent discount on merchandise during “the heart of the season,” instead of its normal 15 percent. Check out for more details.

The trend of sweetening the seasonal job market with higher pay or other incentives is being seen across the county. Challenger, Gray & Christmas said retailers have been hiring for the holidays since July because of the tighter job market.

“Retailers will have to offer competitive compensation or other perks to attract the workers needed for this holiday season. Already, we have seen some retailers offering discounted merchandise or special shopping days for their employees,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

But retailers aren’t the only ones scrambling for holiday employees. UPS announced it will hire some 100,000 temporary workers, including drivers and package handlers, this gift-giving season. That is up about 5.3 percent from last year, when it brought on 95,000 temporary employees. Meanwhile, FedEx said it will employ about 55,000 seasonal workers, up 10 percent from last year.

Marijke Rowland: 209-578-2284, @marijkerowland