NEW YORK (AP) — Toys R Us may have filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, but the toy chain is revving up its holiday hiring.
The Wayne, New Jersey-based chain said Thursday it will be accepting job applications for part-time holiday positions at stores and distribution centers in the U.S. That includes a new position called a toy demonstrator, who will help kids test out toys.
Toys R Us plans to hire more than 12,500 for the top six markets, including Groveport, Ohio, where it will be looking to staff more than 2,400 for its distribution facility that handles online orders. It hired more than 10,900 workers for the top five markets a year ago.
It declined to offer actual overall hiring figures for the holiday season, but in the past, overall holiday hiring was about 40,000.
The company, which operates around 1,600 stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late Monday heading into the all-important holiday season, which makes up around 70 percent of annual toy sales. Toys R Us said Monday it has received $3.1 billion in new financing that will allow it to pay its employees and suppliers through the period.
So far, retailers have detailed mixed hiring plans for the holidays.
Walmart won't be doing large-scale holiday hiring at its stores this year. Instead, like last year, it will offer extra hours to its current workers. The nation's largest private employer says, however, that it will be taking on more temporary workers at its distribution centers. But it's not giving a number yet for its planned holiday hires at the centers.
Macy's is increasing the number of temporary workers it's planning to hire for distribution and warehouses. But overall holiday hiring will fall nearly 4 percent from last year.
Target announced an increase of 40 percent in holiday hiring at its stores. The retailer also plans to hire 4,500 workers at its warehouses, down from 7,500 a year ago.
United Parcel Service Co. said that it plans to hire about 95,000 workers to handle the surge in packages from late November through January. That's about the same number as the last two years.
Rival FedEx Corp. said that it would hire about 50,000 people for the holiday season, also the same as last year.
A store's hiring plans can indicate its expectations for the holiday season, which accounts for 20 percent of the retail industry's annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group.
Many companies are employing more automation at new facilities, which could limit the need for seasonal hiring even as online shopping continues to expand.