Tesco has announced that it will create 16,000 new permanent roles to meet the increased demand for online grocery shopping.
Britain’s biggest supermarket chain is planning to hire 10,000 pickers to assemble customer orders and 3,000 drivers to deliver them, plus a variety of other roles in stores and distribution centres.
This is in addition to the 4,000 permanent jobs already created at Tesco since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
The retailer expects the majority of the new positions to be filled by staff who joined the company on a temporary basis in recent months. Roles will first be offered to these temporary employees, with remaining vacancies then recruited externally.
Food retailers remained open throughout the lockdown and saw considerable growth in online demand as many customers stayed at home.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic around 9% of Tesco’s sales were online, a figure that has now risen to more than 16%. Tesco expects its online sales to exceed £5.5bn this year, up from £3.3bn last year.
In April, the first full month of lockdown, Tesco became the first retailer in the UK to fulfil one million online grocery orders in a week and the supermarket is now serving nearly 1.5 million customers a week online, up from around 600,000 at the start of the outbreak.
Tesco said that the number of new jobs may increase further in the coming months as its online business continues to grow.