Toys 'R' Us to Hire Less Seasonal Staff as CEO Works on Comeback

Toys “R” Us Inc. will hire fewer seasonal employees this year as the toy-store chain relies more heavily on existing workers and pursues a turnaround plan under a new chief executive officer.

The company is taking on 40,000 temporary workers this holiday season, down from 45,000 last year, according to a statement on Tuesday. With fewer extra employees, Toys “R” Us will be able to offer more hours to its staff, the Wayne, New Jersey-based company said.

Improving holiday sales is key to the closely held company’s comeback efforts following three years of declining revenue. Toys “R” Us faces tough online competition, and big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. continue to take business from traditional toy stores.

The company has already made progress in cutting costs, CEO Dave Brandon said in a quarterly earnings report earlier on Tuesday. While sales continued to decline in the second quarter, Toys “R” Us reported less red ink. The company posted a net loss of $99 million, compared with a $148 million deficit a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $122 million from $83 million.

This will be the first holiday season for Brandon, the former head of Domino’s Pizza Inc., who succeeded Antonio Urcelay in July. He is the third CEO at Toys “R” Us since 2013.

Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust took Toys “R” Us private in 2005 for $6.6 billion. The toy retailer pursued an initial public offering, but it dropped the plan in 2013 as results worsened.