September 16, 2015 / 2:11 AM / 2 years ago

Toys R Us hires fewer seasonal employees, offers more hours

People line up outside a Toys R Us store just before midnight to purchase toys in advance of the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - U.S. retailer Toys R Us said it will hire 40,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday shopping season, down from 45,000 last year, as it aims to offer more working hours to new and current employees.

The privately held company plans to offer seasonal store employees about 18 to 20 hours per week up from about 7 hours last year and up to 30 hours during the peak shopping season from 20 hours in 2014.

“This decision was based on feedback we received from seasonal employees after our 2014 holiday season,” spokeswoman Alyssa Peera said.

The world’s largest dedicated toy retailer hired 20 percent of its holiday workforce last year for regular positions in its stores and distribution centers.

Last week, Toys R Us lowered its free shipping minimum from $49 to $19 to tap into holiday demand.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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