updated 9/28/2010 8:21:18 AM ET 2010-09-28T12:21:18

Toys R Us will hire about 45,000 employees to help with the holiday season, doubling its U.S. work force.

The privately held toy company said Tuesday that it is hiring more workers than in the past three holiday seasons because of an additional 600 smaller stores located in malls and shopping centers. Those "pop-up" stores are called Toys R Us Express.

The news comes at a time when unemployment levels remain high in the U.S. and seasonal work is viewed as a potential opportunity for a full-time position.

"We're pleased that we can create thousands of new jobs as we double our work force nationwide in preparation for another busy shopping season in our stores," Dan Caspersen, executive vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

In the past the company, based in Wayne, N.J., has hired about 35,000 seasonal workers. The employees fill managerial roles as well as sales person positions and serve as stock workers.

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Of the seasonal help, Toy R Us said 35,000 workers will be based out of its 587 namesake stores, with the remaining 10,000 working at Toy R US Express locations. The company said it will also hire some employees for its nine distribution centers.

Existing workers will have the chance to pick up overtime at their current locations or alternate stores.

When not contending with the holidays, Toys R Us normally has 45,000 U.S. workers.

Toys R Us purchased the assets of high-end retailer FAO Schwarz after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.

The company announced in late May that it plans to go public again by raising as much as $800 million in an initial public offering that would be one of the biggest retail IPOs in years.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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