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JC Penney Hires Ahead of Holiday Season

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J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP - Free Report) , along with all other retailers is gearing up for the upcoming holiday season. The company plans to hire 35,000 temporary staff members to better serve its patrons, Reuters reported.

J. C. Penney has been in troubled waters for quite some time, and its shares have nosedived approximately 43% year to date, reflecting decreasing revenues and higher losses. Moreover, the company has not shown any signs of recovery in the recent past. This is evident from its 7th consecutive quarter of sluggish results on Aug 20.

The company remained in the red with adjusted loss per share of $2.16 in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 that widened from the loss of 37 cents in the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter was a loss of $1.13. Top line plunged 11.9% to $2,663 million and fell short of Zacks Consensus Estimate.

However, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has taken several strategic initiatives to drive traffic and conversion. The company brought back promotions, which could be a successful sales driver this holiday season.

We believe retailers will leave no stone unturned to tap this holiday season. Armed with several strategies that include early-hour store openings, promotional events, free shipping on online purchases or heavy discounts, retailers will try all tricks to boost sales. As the coming holiday season seems to be a busy one, retailers are presently focusing on their seasonal hiring.

Retailers such as Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) , Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT - Free Report) ,  Kohl’s Corporation (KSS - Free Report) and Toys “R” Us Inc. have announced their hiring plans for the upcoming holiday season to draw in traffic.

Target plans to employ 70,000 seasonal employees, less than 88,000 it hired last year. This Minneapolis, Minn.-based general merchandise and food discount operator indicated that its own permanent associates are ready to work extra hours during the holiday season. Toys “R” Us Inc. plans to increase its seasonal headcount by 45,000 this year much like last year.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores disclosed plans to sign over 55,000 seasonal workers, up 10% from the prior year, as it gears up for the holiday season. Kohl’s indicated that it will recruit over 50,000 personnel, as it prepares itself for the busiest time of the year. The department store also expects to appoint 6,400 associates at its distribution centers and 350 seasonal staffs for its credit operations. Like Kohl’s, hhgregg also announced its plans to hire 500 qualified home appliance and electronics sales associates to handle the rush during the shopping season for its 228 stores.

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