Retailers hire more workers despite economic downturn - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Retailers hire more workers despite economic downturn

Carol Chan Carol Chan

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With a bleak holiday season approaching, why are some businesses shelling out the dough in hopes of reaping in the rewards in the long run?

Local retailers are gearing up for the upcoming holiday season by hiring more workers.

That's despite holiday sales which are predicted to be significantly lower than in previous years.

Hawaiian Moon sells aloha shirts and dresses. Its owners hope hiring more people will translate into customers coming back for more during the holidays.

Carol Chan is a manager at Hawaiian Moon. On Saturday, she got a special visit from the first-ever miss lanai, Shannell Sarme who was looking for a dress to wear.

Chan hopes this trend continues, especially during the holidays. That's why she's hiring three more workers, despite rising costs.

"We are a local company, so we want to provide for our locals the best possible customer service," she said.

She also says it may help ease the workload on current employees.

"And although I know they're more than willing to do that for us, we would like to just to give a little bit more buffer and additional help," she said.

But some say that help may lead to stiff consequences.

"I think this year more than ever, a retailer could potentially be punished for bad decisions that they make heading into the fourth quarter, whether it be merchandising, purchasing or just operations cost in general," National Retail Federation vice president Scott Krugman said.

Shops like Hawaiian Moon hope to change people's minds this upcoming holiday season, they're hoping people will come out and show them some aloha as well.

"We are concerned but we believe that positive thinking and prayer will help," Chan said.

It's that kind of thinking, combined with common sense that retailers hope will help them and others.

"So I definitely think while retailers will be scaling back in some cases in terms of holiday hiring, they're gonna be smart to have a good sense, a good feel for when the peek shopping times are, so they're fully staffed at those times," Krugman said.

Retailers like chan hope decisions they make now won't hurt them during the season of jolly.

So if you're looking for a job during the holidays, some Ward Center stores are hiring. They're holding a job fair next Tuesday and Wednesday. If you'd like to learn more about it, call 591-8411 or go to www.wardcenters.com.

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