Consumer electronics chain Dick Smith has rejected rumours it is slashing staff hours amid reports the retail sector is cutting back on Christmas casual workers.
Justin Waddell, regional manager for Dick Smith in the upper North Island, said the company had the same staff-to-sales budget as last year.
"We've just hired in the run-up to Christmas another 45 casuals and I guess if trade increases over December we may even hire more."
Maxine Gay, retail spokeswoman for FIRST Union, said she had not heard of any retailers pruning staff hours. But trading was flatter and there were fewer Christmas casual workers this year.
"Where [staff] would normally be banned from having leave, people are being told that 'if you want a day off to do your Christmas shopping, you can take some leave'."
Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson said he had not heard of retailers cutting back on staff this Christmas.
But it was clear stores were operating on much lower margins.