Spring is big time at home-improvement retailers, which are beefing up store staffing more than usual this year.
With consumers loosening their grip on their wallets, the big chains see rising demand for spring cleaning products, home organizing projects, quick fixups and new plants to replace ones that were flash-frozen.
"This is our Christmas holiday season," said Craig Fishel, a spokesman for Home Depot Inc.
Home Depot on Tuesday said it's hiring 60,000 temporary seasonal workers — 900 in the Tampa Bay area — to handle the spring rush, significantly more than a year ago.
Rival Lowe's, meanwhile, is adding 50,000 nationwide, about 16 percent more than a year ago. That includes many who will work just weekends year-round as part of a reorganization of the chain's standard store operations announced last week.
The seasonal hires work out to about 25 per Home Depot store and 30 per Lowe's.
Both chains are ramping up hiring now with the intent of being at full staff in mid March, when seasonal crowds are at their peak in Florida.
Home Depot treats spring very much the same way that mall and discount store retailers treat the Christmas holidays, when they bolster staffing by a fifth. Next month, the Atlanta-based chain will be promoting its own "Spring Black Friday" deals. And its 300,000-person permanent staff will be augmented by about 20 percent for three to four months.
Mark Albright can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8252.