Christmas jobs boost at in Swansea

The upturn in the economy, which is seeing people planning to spend more this Christmas, has led to 150 jobs being created at a Swansea shopping centre.

Retailers at the city’s Quadrant Shopping Centre are reporting an increase in trade and have taken on dozens of temporary staff to deal with the Christmas rush, with recruitment still going on.

And many say that some of the seasonal workers could be kept on permanently in the New Year, if trading continues to be positive.

The news follows a report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) that companies across the UK saw sales and optimism jump in the third quarter of this year.

Questioning 7,400 companies, BCC said service firms saw UK sales and orders rise at the fastest pace since 2007, while rises for manufacturing were the sharpest since the early 1990s.

Quadrant Shopping Centre manager Ian Kirkpatrick said: “It’s great to see the centre busy, not just at weekends but also on weekdays and for our late evening openings.

“We are definitely seeing optimism from our retailers and there’s a real buzz about the Centre so it’s looking positive.

“The Quadrant already employs around 1500 staff and the news that we will be seeing another 150 new faces behind the tills at our stores over the next few weeks, through Christmas and into the New Year sales, is excellent – I certainly hope that some of them will become permanent members of our team here at the Quadrant.”

Clothes retailer USC will be tripling the 25-strong workforce at its store in the Quadrant’s St David’s Arcade, said deputy manager Antony Evans.

“We’ve taken on 35 temporary staff already and we are planning to recruit another 15 to cope with the demand this Christmas,” said Antony. “We need to be flexible and we find this is the best way, with plenty of part-time staff who prefer to work a variety of hours.

“Most are with us until the first week or so of the New Year, but we may be keeping some of them on after that.”

The store has seen a big increase in demand for its extensive range of premium designer branded jeans, clothing and footwear – with animal-themed “onesies” being this year’s big seller.

“Everybody seems to want a onesie, especially one with an animal theme. We can’t put them out fast enough. People want them to snuggle up in, now it’s getting colder, or to wear as a laugh, such as for the office Christmas party!”

Since September footwear retailer Schuh has taken on 16 temporary staff at its St Mary’s Arcade store in the Quadrant shopping centre to help the permanent team deal with the autumn and Christmas rush, said manager Kim White.

“The staff are doing a mix of hours, from three to 37 a week, which suits all of them. We’ve definitely seen an increase in trade lately – people are starting to shop again though they want the designer names but without the price tags,” she said.

Renewed interest in online and virtual reality game playing has lead Game to take on 13 part-time staff – with plans to keep at least one of them on permanently in the New Year, said Matt Nesling, deputy manager at the St Mary’s Arcade branch.

“It all kicked off with the new Grand Theft Auto game in September, that was a major retail event,” said Matt.

“Since then we’ve had the new Call of Duty game, plus the two new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, which has all helped.

“The great thing is that people aren’t just buying the consoles, they are coming back for more and more games. This is a great time for online gaming. “

Superdry, the label beloved by celebrities – with fashionistas tipping its windcheater as this season’s must-have – will be taking on 10 seasonal staff at its Wassail Square store, said manager James Kane.

“This is a time when we are usually busy, but the rush seems to have started sooner, there has been a sharp increase in footfall.

“I think people are definitely much more prepared to go out and start shopping again. Confidence in the economy is coming back, which is great for us,” added James.

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