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Toys 'R' Us' 600 holiday shops = 10,000 jobs

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toys "R" Us said Thursday that it plans to open about 600 temporary stores across the nation, more than six times last year's count, and hire some 10,000 workers for the holiday season.

The retailer said it began opening the Toys "R" Us Express locations in June. About 300 of the "pop-up" stores have already opened in malls and shopping centers nation wide, Toys "R" Us said in a press release. Last year, the company opened 90 Express stores.

To staff the new locations, most of which will close in January, the company plans to hire an estimated 10,000 associates. The temporary positions would be in addition to the seasonal hiring Toys "R" Us does every year at its permanent locations.

"We are pleased that this significant expansion of our Toys"R"Us Express initiative also creates thousands of new jobs beyond our usual seasonal workforce build," chief executive Jerry Storch said in a statement.

The company said it will look for opportunities to keep certain temporary stores open after the holiday. It converted four Express stores into permanent locations last year.

The announcement came as Toys "R" Us looks to become more competitive with big-box stores Target (TGT, Fortune 500) and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) ahead of the all-important holiday sales period, when retailers make the bulk of their profits.

Toys "R" Us, which operates 1,560 stores in the United States and 510 overseas, announced plans in late May to raise $800 million in stock through an initial public offering, which has yet to occur.

The Wayne, N.J.-based retailer has been privately held since 2006, when investors KKR Group, Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust took over the company in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout.  To top of page

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