The Co-op has filled every one of the 5,000 temporary store roles it created last week in a record seven days – following an unprecedented response from the British public to the retailer’s recruitment drive which has been prompted by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Legions of new store colleagues, many of whom found themselves unexpectedly out of work due to the ongoing pandemic, have shown their desire to find employment, keep shelves stocked and feed the nation amidst such unprecedented times.
All 5,000 new recruits are now firmly in situ across the convenience retailer’s network of stores. The boost in numbers will mean Co-ops up and down the country can replenish their shelves more efficiently, fulfil online orders more quickly and provide ongoing assistance to vulnerable customers and communities.
Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-op Food, said: “Just one week ago we asked members of the British public who needed jobs to come forward and join forces with us. 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 at any one time.
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.