(Reuters) - Toys "R" Us Inc, the U.S. toy retailer that filed for bankruptcy protection this week, said on Thursday it is hiring part-time seasonal workers to staff its stores for the holidays, including for a new position of toy demonstrator.
The move is the clearest sign yet that Toys "R" Us is aiming to capitalize on the key holiday shopping season to emerge from bankruptcy and escape liquidation.
The largest U.S. toy chain did not disclose the number of people it planned to hire nationwide, though its announced openings for seasonal jobs in some of the biggest U.S. states exceed 12,000 part-time jobs. The company currently employs approximately 64,000 people.
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Toys "R" Us said in a statement it would hire additional cashiers, sales associates, stock associates and staff for its warehouses. The toy demonstrator position involves unboxing and playing with toys, allowing kids to try them out.
Toys "R" Us has the largest need to hire in the New York City area, followed by Los Angeles and then Groveport, Ohio, at a DHL warehouse it uses to fulfill online orders, the company said.
The holidays are the most important selling season for Toys "R" Us, as well as many major retailers, leading to hundreds of thousands of people finding seasonal jobs.
Toys "R" Us does not plan to close a "disproportionate" number of its more than 1,600 stores across the United States, and aims to add smaller shops in urban areas including Washington, D.C., Boston and Detroit, the company's CEO David Brandon said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)