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Holiday shopping season ramps up

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The holiday shopping season is ramping up for a big year. The holiday shopping season is ramping up for a big year.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

If you're looking for a job, plenty of stores are taking applications right now. They need extra employees for the holiday season.

The Georgia Department of Labor doesn't make projections for seasonal hires. However, they tell us last year in the Savannah area,  there were about 1100 seasonal positions added in the retail industry.

Retailers, like JCPenney, are already planning on hiring even more than last year.

The holiday shopping has already started for many shoppers hoping to beat the craze and crowds.

"We're starting a little bit right now, and then we do the major stuff at the end of November," said Meredith Bucklin, who has already started her holiday shopping.  

According to a recent retail survey, shoppers are going to spend an average of $421 on holiday gifts this year, an 8 percent increase over last year.

With shoppers spending more, many retailers, like JCPenney, plan to increase the number of seasonal employees they hire. JCPenney says, as a company, they plan to hire about 35,000 holiday workers, which means each store will increase their staff by about 25 percent for the holidays.

"You know our goal is to get everyone what they want and to make their wishes come true for christmas. To provide that perfect gift for anyone they're looking for and to make sure that they have a happy quick checkout and that they get the best deals that they can," said Tiffani Byrd, the store leader at the Oglethorpe Mall JCPenney.

JCPenney and many other retailers will open their doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to allow shoppers to hit the sales early.

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