Tesco photo/Tom Nicholson
UK retailer Tesco announced is in the process of hiring as many as 20,000 new colleagues to work in its stores over the next 12 weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced an unprecedented increase in demand for food and household products.
Tesco launched its recruitment drive Wednesday and says is has been overwhelmed by support from the public.
"We have seen 140,000 views on our Tesco Careers page and over the coming days thousands of new colleagues will join us in helping to feed the nation," the supermarket said in a statement. "Thanks to a streamlined recruitment process, we are able to get eligible applicants in for interviews and process their applications in a single day – this includes assessing eligibility to work. We will also keep monitoring the situation and expect further recruitment to take place in the coming weeks."
And on Sunday, Tesco introduced a special hour in stores for NHS staff to give workers an opportunity to shop before checkouts open.
Tesco launched a number of initiatives late last week to try to ensure shoppers had access to everyday essentials and that stores were clean, including:
- Introducing a storewide restriction of only 3 items per customer on every product line, and removing multi-buy promotions. It also closed all meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars.
- Changing its trading hours with all stores closing at 10pm to ensure food supplies are stocked and colleagues are given a chance to rest.
- Introducing distancing measures at the checkout and, to invite customers who can, to pay by card.
- Encouraging customers who shop online or choose Click+Collect for their grocery home shopping, to prioritise shopping in-store where possible.
- Prioritising one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am (except in our Express stores) to ensure more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in store.
"It is fair to say that we find ourselves in uncharted waters," Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said. "COVID-19 is bringing a change to the UK and it’s clear that lots of things are going to have to shift around in order to help us cope. We have been doing everything we can to keep business as usual, but we now have to accept it is not business as usual."