(Reuters) - Department store operator Nordstrom Inc <JWN.N> said it would hire about 11,400 temporary employees for the holiday shopping season, about 3 percent fewer than last year.

The company said about 9,500 temporary employees will be hired in sales and stock positions at its 123 Nordstrom stores in the United States and Canada and 213 Nordstrom Rack stores in the United States.

Another 1,900 will be hired to support Nordstrom's stores and ecommerce business through its fulfillment and distribution centers, the company said.

Nordstrom, like other U.S. retailers, is waging a tough battle for customers with online retailers, which offer a more convenient shopping experience and also offer products at lower prices.

U.S. retailers are keeping sales expectations and inventories low ahead of the holidays to avoid repeating last year's holiday quarter, when warm weather hit sales and left many goods unsold.

Macy's Inc <M.N> said last month that it would hire 83,000 temporary workers for the holiday period, 2 percent lower than last year, while Target Corp <TGT.N> kept its hiring plans unchanged for the fourth straight year.

(Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)