Help wanted for the holidays

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Goodys supervisor Marty White, left, and store manager Stephanie Kelley look over applications for holiday help Tuesday at the store’s Andalusia location.

Goodys supervisor Marty White, left, and store manager Stephanie Kelley look over applications for holiday help Tuesday at the store’s Andalusia location.

At several businesses in Andalusia, employers are getting ready for the holidays by looking for some extra help with the busy upcoming shopping season.

Christy Burns, store manager at Andalusia’s Walmart, said the retail giant is always hiring extra workers this time of year, and 2013 is no exception.

“It’s always a big need,” Burns said. “We have been doing holiday hiring since mid-October. Our biggest sales come on Black Friday, and we do still have some positions open.”

While traffic in Walmarts around the nation is expected to increase dramatically over the weeks leading up to Christmas, Burns said employees hired on as temporary holiday associates often times are offered regular, year-round employment in January.

“Typically, after the holiday season, we are able to keep a number of temporary associates and convert them over into part-time or full-time employment,” she said. “Otherwise, (the employment) lasts through the week of Christmas.”

Burns said positions that are currently open are as varied as they are throughout the year, ranging from “overnight” workers, to stockers and cashiers.

Burns said those looking to capitalize on the holiday employment need can visit the Andalusia Walmart location, where kiosks are available to submit applications, or may apply online at

At Goodys Department Store, store manager Kerry Bradley said the hunt for holiday help is still very much in full swing, but spots are filling up quickly.

“I’m in the process of hiring,” Bradley said Tuesday. “I’ve got a place for two more people. I’m hoping to finish up this week.”

Bradley said Goodys is looking for part-time employees that can work, beginning this week, through the first week of January.

Bradley said the additional help is needed to cover special holiday hours, including Thanksgiving day, from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., and Black Friday, from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., as well as other nights that are still to be announced, when the store will stay open until 9 p.m., 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.

Bradley added there is also a spot remaining open for anyone looking to do holiday fundraising for a reputable charity.

“We’re looking for someone to come in on Thanksgiving evening that may want to set up outside with the line that wants to raise donations for a local charity,” she said.  “We will provide the table and coffee and drinks. All they would need to bring is a box for the donations.”

Bradley said anyone interested in raising donations or applying for holiday employment, can visit the Goodys location or may call 334.493-4737.

Just down the road from Andalusia’s Goodys, the J.C. Penny in Covington Mall has filled their holiday employment quota, but store leader Dennis Cockrell said if the amount of hires they made this year is indicative of the traffic they will experience, the local economy could be looking at a boost from this year’s shopping.

“We have actually just finished doing our holiday hiring,” Cockrell said Tuesday. “We have hired more this year than ever before. We have hired 50 percent of what our current staff members are, which is 35.”

Cockrell said those employees will work through both Thanksgiving and Christmas, a timeframe that will include special holiday hours.

“It will vary from week to week,” he said. “But we’ll be staying open later, and opening up earlier. At different times, we’ll be open as early as 7 a.m., and stay open as late as 10 p.m.”

One special block of holiday hours Cockrell said is already set in stone will occur during the Black Friday shopping holiday, when the store will remain open for 25 straight hours, from 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, until 9 p.m. the next night.