UK supermarket Morrisons hires 6,000 staff to meet online demand

Agence France-Presse

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UK supermarket Morrisons hires 6,000 staff to meet online demand

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 9, 2018, a woman leaves with her goods after shopping at a branch of Morrisons supermarket in west London. - The British supermarket chain Morrisons announced Thursday, September 10, the hiring of 6,000 people in order to strengthen its online activities to meet an ever stronger demand since the start of the health crisis. (Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP)


Morrisons is among the retailers seeing a surge in online orders as consumers are forced to shop via computer screens and smartphones

British supermarket Morrisons on Thursday, September 10, said it was hiring about 6,000 new permanent staff to help meet booming online demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The food retailer said in a statement it was keeping 25,000 of the 45,000 temporary staff it hired in March amid Britain’s COVID-19 lockdown.

A company spokesman told Agence France-Presse that it had now handed permanent contracts to about “one quarter” of those 25,000 employees.

The retail sector enjoyed soaring online sales during the nationwide lockdown, which ran for about 3 months from late March, as consumers were forced to shop via computer screens and smartphones.

It comes as United States e-commerce giant Amazon last week announced 7,000 new permanent jobs in the United Kingdom by the end of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic fuels online shopping, but hurts bricks-and-mortar businesses, which by contrast are shedding thousands of positions.

The biggest surge in new UK jobs fueled by online demand has come from supermarket giant Tesco, with Britain’s biggest retailer planning 16,000 new permanent roles.

Morrisons also said that it took a £155-million ($201-million, 171-million-euro) charge in investment costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That was heavily offset by a £93-million benefit from the government’s tax break for virus-hit businesses. – Rappler.com

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