Macy's ups seasonal hiring after strong start to holidays

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FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2013, file photo, with the Empire State building in the background, the Macy's logo is illuminated on the front of the department store in New York. A new year season is biting back at Macy’s and Kohl’s early in the new year, ... with the duo’s shares tumbling in premarket trading on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, following news that they had trouble bringing shoppers into their stores to buy presents. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Macy's Inc said on Friday said it had a strong start to the holiday shopping season and would hire an additional 7,000 temporary workers in anticipation of the demand continuing through Christmas.

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The department store operator had said in September it would hire 80,000 temporary workers for the holidays - compared with last year's 83,000 - of whom 18,000 would work in distribution centers to fulfill online orders.

"Macy's has had a great start to this holiday season with high customer volume across our business," John Harper, Macy's chief stores officer, said in a statement.

"Due to the strong traffic in our stores, we are adding associates in our stores across the country."

Macy's shares were up about 1 percent in premarket trading. The stock had risen a little more than 15 percent since Thanksgiving.

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More than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the Thanksgiving–Cyber Monday holiday weekend, beating expectations of 164 million, according to a survey by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

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Online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving also surged to record highs, heralding a promising start to the key holiday season, according to retail analytics firms.

Analysts have called this holiday season a make or break time for Macy's, which has reported several quarters of falling sales as it tries to overhaul its business and stem market share losses to online rivals such as Inc.

Despite the recent jump in Macy's stock, it is still down 33.5 percent so far this year. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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