By Brooke Rogers

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

If so, you’ve probably noticed that stores are in need of some extra Santa’s helpers this year.

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Stores like The Toy Maven in North Dallas are feeling the rush, and, when it comes to employees, the crunch.

“All of our staff right now is working extra and working overtime and really, really working hard to help us help us meet the need,” said Candace Williams, owner of The Toy Maven.

Williams said she’s trying to hire 10 to 12 additional seasonal employees for her three stores – about 40% more than she currently has.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers will hire up to 665,000 season workers this holiday season. That’s more than a 35% increase from 2020.

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But despite offering hiring bonuses and a higher starting salary than ever before, she said she’s come up empty so far.

“I haven’t seen a lot of interest,” Williams said. “We’ve tried everything we can: networking, putting out flyers in different places and things like that, and we just haven’t seen the bite from anyone.”

The National Retail Federation said it’s become a game of creativity to incentivize potential workers.

“Some of the ones we’ve heard about that are really interesting are things like tuition assistance. Also offering full-time benefits to part-time employees,” said Catherine Cullen, Senior Director for Industry and Consumer Insights. “We’ve also heard that some employers are offering things like child care assistance.”

And also to show those who are working those extra hours extra appreciation.

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“I’m trying to keep everybody super happy and fed and upright,” said Williams. “We’re trying to offer free lunches and all those kinds of things and you snacks and things that we can to keep keep morale up and keep a spring in everyone’s step.”