Retailers bullish over festive season despite slump in consumer confidence

Employers across the retail sector have launched their annual recruitment drive for part-time workers as the festive season approaches. Marks & Spencer will take on 19,000 part-timers to cope with the busiest time of the year, while supermarket chain Asda will recruit 2,000 extra staff.

Health and beauty retailer Boots will bring in 3,000 workers and Tesco will hire an extra 15,000 – 3,000 more than it took on last Christmas. But the annual recruitment campaign comes at a time when consumer confidence is low.

A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that retail sales figures are static, rising at their slowest rate for almost 10 years. Retailers have acknowledged the spending slump, but remain optimistic that the extra recruitment will prove worthwhile. “It’s the busiest time for us and even in a slowdown people will celebrate Christmas,” said a spokesman for Boots.

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