Customers shop at a Walmart.
Photograph by Gunnar Rathbun — Invision for Walmart
By Claire Zillman
September 17, 2015

It’s still technically summer, but retailers are already laying the groundwork for the all-important holiday season.

Walmart on Thursday released its plans for hiring seasonal workers, saying it expects to hire 60,000 temporary employees for the holidays this year. Walmart said in a press release that it will have more associates in its stores working more hours this season, and they will “focus on providing service and convenience to our customers.”

 

The company employed the same number of seasonal workers last year. In 2013 it brought 55,000 workers on board for its busiest months. In 2012, that total was 50,000.

Toys ‘R’ Us, by contrast, announced Tuesday that it plans to hire 5,000 fewer temporary employees this season than last because it wants to give more hours to the 40,000 workers it already employs.

The upcoming holiday season will be the first since Walmart introduced a higher starting wage for its workers. In February, the retail giant announced that it would pay its associates a minimum of $9 per hour starting in April. The decision came after years of protests by Walmart workers who complained of poor pay and often organized protests during the company’s busy holiday season. The wage increase was considered a win for workers, but since it took effect, there have been reports of store managers reducing some workers’ hours as a way to reudce costs.

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