OPERATIONS

Toys ‘R’ Us to make more than 40,000 holiday hires

BY Staff Writer

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us said Thursday that it will hire more than 40,000 employees to staff its U.S. stores and distribution centers this holiday season. In addition, employment opportunities will be available at the company’s 10 distribution centers, including the newest facility in McCarran, Nev.

Toys “R” Us’ 2011 holiday hires are in line with previous years, when the company hired between 35,000 and 45,000 seasonal workers.

Hiring for positions launched this week and continues through November.

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OPERATIONS

NRF encourages Visa reform to up foreigner spending at U.S. stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation said Thursday it welcomed legislation that would require the State Department to speed up the visa application process for citizens from three key countries, saying the move would make it easier for tourists and business travelers to spend money in U.S. stores.

“U.S. retailers and other businesses are missing out on billions of dollars in sales every year because foreigners who want to come here and spend money in our stores are being told to stand in line at our embassies overseas,” NRF senior VP government relations David French said. “We are asking that the State Department be required to provide adequate personnel, technology and other resources so these applications can be processed in a timely manner. We want to see these yuan, rupees and reals put to work creating jobs and boosting the economy in the United States, not spent elsewhere because it’s too hard to get a U.S. visa. Congress needs to move as quickly as possible to see this legislation signed into law.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is meeting later on Thursday to consider a State Department funding bill that would require the department to hire sufficient staff in China, Brazil and India in order to allow visa applications to be processed in no more than 30 days. It can currently take as long as 120 days in China and 145 days in Brazil for applicants to receive an interview for a visa.

The bill also requires the State Department to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of waiving the visa interview requirement for people who are renewing a visa that has expired within the past two years. It would also give the State Department discretion to establish a pilot program to use videoconferencing rather than requiring that the interviews take place in person, and the department would be required to submit a report to Congress on its efforts to speed up the process.

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Birks & Mayors chief to resign

BY Staff Writer

Montreal — Jewelry chain Birks & Mayors said Wednesday that its president and CEO Tom Andruskevich has said he will resign from the company, effective spring 2012, and will continue in a new board role as vice chairman.

His spring 2012 resignation is contingent upon the naming of a successor. He said he is leaving because he wants to pursue “board positions and advisory roles for luxury brands and other high-end companies.”

Andruskevich joined the company in his current capacity in June 1996.

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