Purdue prof: Rise in holiday hiring a good sign

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A Purdue University professor says an increase in hiring by many U.S. retailers is a sign they're confident they'll see higher sales in the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Purdue professor of consumer sciences and retailing Richard Feinberg says large retail chains had a relatively positive back-to-school season and that's "the big predictor of how the holiday season will go."

Aside from the increased hiring, he says there are other signs retailers are being aggressive about their biggest sales season. Those include early promotions, early layaway, a planned barrage of Internet promotions and sales, and a fine-tuning of email strategies to reach their best customers.

But he said that a lot can happen between now and the height of the holiday shopping season.