- Britain’s supermarket giant Tesco said it would permanently employ 16,000 new staff after “exceptional growth” of the retailer’s online sales during the pandemic.
- The new Tesco jobs include 10,000 staff to assemble customer orders and 3,000 delivery drivers, the supermarket chain said.
- Many of the jobs are expected to be filled by new recruits who took temporary positions at the start of the pandemic, and the remaining vacancies will be recruited externally.
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Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery chain, said on Monday that it would create 16,000 permanent roles because of the “exceptional growth” of its online business in lockdown.
While many UK retailers are cutting thousands of jobs, Tesco will hire 10,000 new staff to organise customer orders, 3,000 delivery drivers, and 3,000 in other roles. This is in addition to the 4,000 jobs created since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
Depending on the performance of the retailer’s online business, the number of new roles could be increased in the “coming months.”
Most of the new positions will be filled by temporary hires the company made at the start of the pandemic. “Roles will first be offered to these temporary colleagues, with remaining vacancies then recruited externally,” the retailer said.
Tesco’s hiring spree contrasts with other retailers’ cutbacks.Britain’s M&S said last week that it would cut 7,000 jobs over the next three months to offset losses from a sales slump. In July, two of the UK’s best-known high-street retailers, John Lewis and Boots, announced more than 5,000 layoffs combined.
At the outset of the crisis, some supermarkets feared that under lockdown restrictions, they simply would not be able to physically manage the demand. Many stores shortened their opening hours to give staff more time to rest, restock shelves, and prepare online deliveries.
Tesco’s online sales jumped by almost 50% in the three months to May this year, after which it doubled its online capacity to meet soaring consumer demand. In May alone, Tesco’s online sales surged by over 90%.
Tesco increased orders per week to 1.3 million from 600,000 in the same period last year, a move that led one analyst to label the chain the “port of call” for many UK customers during the pandemic.
The retailer recently announced it would offer free home delivery to millions of customers on its loyalty scheme, Clubcard Plus. The move mirrors Amazon’s decision to offer free grocery delivery to Prime members in certain parts of the UK.
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