When Santa comes to town, electronics may be filling his bag of goodies.

By Nina Gougis

DeKalb residents seeking holiday jobs in retail this time of year may be disappointed by the lack of openings.

Estimates from the global job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., show retailers, which are a major source of holiday jobs, remain optimistic and plan to hire to meet expected demands.

Still, many DeKalb retailers said they already hired any extra help needed for the holidays.

Borders Books and Music, 2520 Sycamore Road, hired a group of people for the holiday season, General Manager Julie Morsch said.

“We want to get them in here and train them early on so when the holiday season comes they’re ready to go,” Morsch said.

Other stores, such as Maurices Women’s Clothing Retailer, 2506 Sycamore Road, decided to use former employees this year to cut down on training costs.

Jenny Jeffries, the store’s general manager, said training is extensive and it would be difficult to hire employees for only a few months.

“I usually hire a few employees for the holiday season, but those jobs tend to be more permanent,” Jeffries said. “We usually take them back for the back-to-school season.”

Temporary employment agencies, like Furst Staffing Services, 3218 Sycamore Road, have had a slight increase in people seeking employment just before the holidays, branch manager Kay Robinson said.

Although many retailers hire more people before the holidays, Robinson said food companies could be a good place to look.

Those seeking holiday work should not limit themselves to retail,Challenger’s Public Relations Director James Pedderson said.

Pedderson said there are other areas in need of seasonal workers, including hotels, shipping and delivery companies and restaurants.

Job seekers should also start as soon as possible, Challenger CEO John Challenger said. Although retailers traditionally hire after Thanksgiving, increased competition caused many of them to begin hiring as early as October.