British retailer the Co-op announced it filled 5,000 temporary store roles it created last week in a record seven days – following an unprecedented response from the British public to the its recruitment drive resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Just one week ago we asked members of the British public who needed jobs to come forward and join forces with us," Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-op Food, said. "The response has been overwhelming as people pull together to feed the nation. All of our colleagues are heroes and are doing an amazing job under huge pressure.”
Many of those workers had found themselves without jobs because of the ongoing pandemic. But last weekend all of those "new hires" were firmly in place across the convenience retailer’s network of stores, allowing Co-ops throughout the nation to replenish shelves more efficiently, fulfil online orders and provide assistance to vulnerable customers.
“I was studying for my Masters in social work but my placement was cancelled overnight, leaving me with no income so I was desperate to find some work. I was offered the position at one of their Salford stores on the spot! I couldn’t believe it and I’m so happy to be a part of a wider movement that is helping to keep the country going," Rachel Marriott, 27, from Manchester, said.
Last week, the Co-op announced several measures to enforce social distancing in stores, including the introduction of floor markers, creating more space between customers at till points and controlling the number of customers in stores at any one time.