Amazon to hire more than 50,000 for holiday season

Walmart expecting similar numbers, Target 80,000 to 90,000

(Reuters) — Online retail giant said it will hire more than 50,000 seasonal employees at its fulfillment centres across the United States, as the company and its rivals gear up for the winter holiday season.

Retailers typically add seasonal staff in the weeks leading up to the holiday shopping season to work in stores and help in other areas, such as distribution and fulfilling online orders.

"Temporary associates play a critical role in meeting increased customer demand during the holiday season, and we expect thousands of temporary associates will stay on in full-time positions," Dave Clark, vice-president of global customer fulfillment, said in a statement.

Amazon did not say how many seasonal workers it hired for the 2011 holiday season, but said the plan to hire more than 50,000 is up slightly from last year.

In September, Wal-Mart Stores said it plans to hire more than 50,000 seasonal employees to work at its Walmart stores in the United States, slightly more than it did last year.

Target has said it plans to hire about 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal employees for its stores and distribution centres. While Target plans to hire fewer than the 92,000 seasonal staff it brought on in 2011, it said 30 per cent of those who were hired to work during last year's holiday season were then given year-round positions.

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