Medford-based Harry & David expects employment in its Medford call center to be about the same this year as last during the food and gift giant’s heavy sales period, its chief financial officer said today.

“We’re still in the planning stages and haven’t nailed it down yet,” said Ed Dunlap. “Our first assumption is that it’s going to be unchanged from last year with virtually as many people as last year.”

A couple thousand people worked in the call center at company headquarters last year during the holiday rush.

Dunlap’s comments came after the announcement Tuesday that the company would outsource call-center activity at its Hopewell campus in Hebron, Ohio. About 800 people there handled overflow activity from the Medford call center during the holidays.

“Those people employed by third party could be working more of the year because they service other clients,” Dunlap said. “Those employees may have the opportunity to work from home, work more and earn more.”

— Greg Stiles