The Co-op is to create 1,000 jobs as it opens 50 new stores, becoming the latest supermarket to expand during the coronavirus pandemic.
The jobs will be spread across the new shops and another 15 stores that will be enlarged as part of a £130m investment, the company said.
Another 12 franchised stores, run with Co-op branding but owned by others, are also planned for 2020.
It is the Co-op’s second hiring spree during 2020; it gave permanent jobs to 1,000 of 5,000 workers brought in to cope with an increased workload at the height of the UK’s lockdowns.
The Co-op employs 55,000 workers across the UK, with 2,600 stores.
While employment in high-street retail and hospitality sectors has been hit hard by the pandemic, supermarkets have had to contend with extra demand and new costs as the pandemic altered customer shopping habits.
The pandemic has prompted a rapid acceleration in numbers of customers using supermarkets’ online grocery delivery services.
A report by Waitrose has found that the number of UK consumers in the UK doing a weekly grocery shop online has doubled since the coronavirus lockdown, in a trend it described as “irreversible”.
While the latest hiring by the Co-op will occur across the stores, many of its new workers are employed on online orders. Co-op workers collect orders within individual supermarkets for distribution, rather than rely on central fulfilment warehouses.
The Co-op also has a distribution deal across 400 stores with Deliveroo, the delivery app that has expanded from takeaway food to groceries.
Source: The Guardian