Christmas has come early for job seekers in Wrexham.
Stores at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre are recruiting more than 100 temporary staff to cope with the festive rush.
Amongst the largest recruiters at Eagles Meadow are Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Next who between them estimate they could be taking on in the region of 75 temporary workers.
Another 10 staff are likely to be heading for the sales floors at River Island, Boots, Dorothy Perkins and The Entertainer toy store.
Debenhams store manager Torrey Winter said: “We’ll be taking on between 25 and 30 people for the pre-Christmas period which is our busiest time of the year.
“We’re doing incredibly well at the moment with figures up on last year and we expect that trend to continue over Christmas.
“We’ve already held two successful recruiting sessions and we have another four to go over the next few weeks.
“The temporary staff will stay with us until the New Year and will be working right across the store. That’s back-of-house, the general sales floor, the fragrance department and the restaurant.”
Once again this year, Debenhams have set up a task force of staff to handle sales of Christmas gifts in two specialist areas set up on the ground and first floors of the massive store. The toy department upstairs is also being expanded for the seasonal rush.
Marks & Spencer says it is also planning to sign up about 25 temporary staff in time for Christmas.
Operations manager Ian Leighton said: “The additional staff, who will stay with us until just after Christmas, will be based in all departments of the store, including the sales floors and the loading bay.
“We’re still recruiting at the moment and the first of those we take on will start work with us in November.”
According to deputy manager Sarah Young, another big seasonal recruiter this year will be the Next store.
“We are planning to take on a number of temporary staff ready for Christmas and at this stage we think that could be about 25. They’ll be with us over the busy seasonal period before leaving in January,” she said.
Lewis Shaw, the men’s department manager at River Island said: “We’ve not finalised the figures yet but we could be looking to take on around 10 staff to help us in the run-up to Christmas, which looks like being very busy for us.”
Women’s clothing store Dorothy Perkins has handled its seasonal recruitment a little differently this year, according to its manager Melanie Rogers.
She said: “We’ve already taken on five extra staff who are all part-timers working on a permanent basis.
“We think that’s better for us because we can start to train them earlier and not try to fit everything in just before Christmas.”
Also currently recruiting for temporary seasonal staff in The Entertainer toy store where assistant manager Vicky Smallwood said: “We’re planning to take on three extra people who’ll stay with us right over Christmas. They’ll all be doing four hours a day five days a week to help us over this very busy period.”
The Boots store at Eagles Meadow is planning add four or five seasonal staff, said assistant manager Sharon Harrington.
“They’ll be working in every department and will stay with us until January,” she added.
“Things really start to get busy from the end of October, so we’re making arrangements to have some of them in place by then with rest following by mid-November.”
More temporary staff will also be heading to the counters at the Pandora jewellery store although assistant manager Eleri Parry said the precise number was still being worked out.
Eagles Meadow Centre Manager Kevin Critchley said: “I’m delighted to hear that so many of the stores are planning to temporarily increase their staff over Christmas which gets busier each year at Eagles Meadow.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see that confidence is running so high that a number of our stores like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams are planning such large influxes of additional firepower.
“Everything now looks set for another fantastic seasonal period here at the centre.”