Businesses throughout Lodi are gearing up for the holidays, but each is handling the anticipated rush of customers and commerce in a different way.
Large retailers such as Kohl’s and Target have begun accepting employment applications from local residents, looking to hire some much-needed extra hands for the checkout counters and for loading Christmas trees onto the roofs of families’ cars during the holiday season.
But other, smaller businesses in Lodi are planning to work with the staff that they have.
Kohl’s is nearly done hiring between 20 and 30 people to help with the influx of holiday shoppers, assistant manager Danielle Fernandez said.
The store, which labels its holiday season as being from October through the second week of January, is not the only big retailer in town to start hiring seasonal employees early as they gear up for the holiday rush. Target has also begun hiring more employees to keep things at the store moving along.
Target spokesman Bobby Lister said the store held three separate hiring fairs in which the company invited roughly 60 people to each event for on-the-spot interviews.
Out of those interviews, Target found themselves roughly 65 new seasonal employees, a majority of them landing a job with logistics.
“Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and even Halloween, there are more sales,” he said. “People in departments like logistics are vital in helping to fill the floor right back up so that the shelves are never empty.”
Other stores are looking to use part-time employees more during the holidays because they either do not need any more employees or they cannot afford to hire anyone new.
Lonnie Saechao, an employee at Lodi Cooks, said the family-owned business only has a staff of six.
But because most of the staff only works part-time, Saechao, who has worked at the store for the past six years, said that during the holidays most of the employees will work between 35 and 40 hours a week to keep the store running smoothly.
“The holidays are the busiest time for us,” he said. “We are open seven days a week to keep up with the rush, which I love. I would say that the holidays account for roughly half of our annual revenue.”
Other smaller businesses, like Cheese Central and The Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery, are also following suit by bringing in part-time employees to work longer hours.
Rosewood Bar & Grill is one of the few businesses in Downtown Lodi that continually hires a select few seasonal employees who, if they do well during the holidays, are actually asked to stay on as full-time staff.
General manager Scott McLeod said of the roughly 30 employees on staff at the restaurant, about 20 percent were hired to be full-time servers or line cooks after they were hired on as an extra hand during the holidays.
This year, McLeod said he is looking to hire more individuals than in the past because starting in January, the restaurant will begin serving lunch.
“We are extremely busy during the holidays, it’s fantastic,” he said. “We do everything from company parties to dinner banquets. We are a full house Thursday through Saturday.”
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