CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Local stores will be looking for extra employees this holiday season. At Best Buy in North Charleston, general manager Amy Dunphy hopes for a busy shopping season and she says preparations have already begun.
"With the increase in volume and sales, we want to make sure we have enough people here on the sales floor to take care of the customers," Dunphy said. "We have to have them filled early so we can get people trained and they'll understand what we expect out of them and how to be able to serve the customer."
The National Retail Federation says holiday sales are expected to increase 2.3 percent over last year, reaching more than $447 billion. In 2009, there was just a .4 percent increase in sales over the previous year. In 2008 there was 3.9 percent decline in sales.
"We're just hoping for customers to come out and be excited about some of the new technology that's coming out, the new gaming systems," Dunphy said. "We want the excitement in our employees, just as we want in our customers."
Other retailers have big plans for holiday hiring. For example, Kohl's Corporation says it will fill 40,000 positions nationwide, which is 35 associates per store.
At Target in West Ashley, the store manager says that often times holiday hires can end up turning into a full or part-time position after the holiday season.
"We get a lot of those team members after the fourth quarter due to their performance they've been able to provide during that fourth quarter time," store manager Joe Forsha said.
Forsha says they will need to fill cashiers, sales and replenishment positions.
"Somebody who is fast fun and friendly. That's kind of our motto!" Forsha said.
Currently, the statewide unemployment rate is in the double digits at 11 percent. For Charleston and Dorchester Counties it is 9.8 percent and in Berkeley County it is 10.8 percent.