Co-op said many of its new colleagues had found themselves unexpectedly out of work due to the coronavirus
One of the new staff members ‘phoned up on Friday, had an interview an hour later and was offered the position on the spot’
The retailer announced a raft of in-store social distancing measures this week
The Co-op has filled all of its 5,000 temporary store roles in under a week.
The convenience retailer announced the recruitment drive last Friday as it looked to boost staffing levels to keep stores open and shelves stocked during the coronavirus crisis.
Co-op said many of its new colleagues had found themselves unexpectedly out of work due to the sudden economic and social impact of the pandemic.
All 5,000 will have been placed within stores by this weekend. The retailer said this would improve its ability to replenish shelves more efficiently, fulfil online orders more quickly and provide ongoing assistance to vulnerable customers and communities.
“Just one week ago we asked members of the British public who needed jobs to come forward and join forces with us,” said Co-op Food CEO Jo Whitfield.
“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.”
Rachel Marriott, 27, from Manchester, said: “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 saw that the Co-op was advertising for new roles in their food stores and phoned up on Friday, had an interview an hour later and was offered the position at one of their Salford stores on the spot! It was all so easy, 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.”
This week, the Co-op announced a raft of measures to enforce social distancing in stores, following the announcement of new government legislation including the introduction of floor markers, creating more space between customers at till points and controlling the number of customers in stores.
Co-op colleagues in business support roles who are not currently working in stores or distribution centres are also being encouraged to ‘lend a hand’ in their local Co-op amid the surge in demand for groceries.
Between them the UK’s leading grocery retailers have created tens of thousands of new jobs in the past week.