Supermarket chain Lidl says it's begun disinfecting its shopping trolleys to guard against Covid-19 and will hire 400 more staff to help keep shelves stocked.
Lidl unveiled the use of “bio-misters” that staff are using to spray rows of trolleys and stacks of baskets. It said the devices deliver “a fine mist of disinfectant particles that settle onto surfaces and work to kill bacteria, spores and viruses while sanitising immediately”.
And Lidl joined its German discount rival, Aldi, in announcing a recruitment drive aimed at recently laid-off workers in the hospitality, catering and retail sectors.
Whereas Aldi announced a more general recruitment drive along the same lines yesterday, Lidl specified it wanted to hire more than 400 workers at wages starting at €12.30 an hour.
“These aren’t the usual circumstances by which we hope to be welcoming new people to our team,’ said Lidl Ireland managing director JP Scally.
“However, we take our responsibility to feed the nation very seriously,” he said. “We want to ensure our front-line team is supported in every way possible. That means hiring additional team members at this difficult period to help us to continue to provide food and supplies to communities.”
British supermarket chain Tesco, meanwhile, said it will accelerate bill payments to its Irish food and drink suppliers starting next week.
Tesco said it normally takes two weeks to pay its more than 200 Irish suppliers but will reduce that payment time to within five days for the coming three months.
“We recognise this is a particularly challenging time for the whole industry, and especially for small businesses in terms of their cash-flow requirements. These are local, often family-run businesses,” said Tesco Ireland commercial director Joe Manning. “We will be initiating payment of invoices as we receive them.”
Lidl said it also is deploying extra security staff in stores to remind customers to maintain minimum two-meter spacing; to provide extra help to elderly customers during the 9am-11am window of operations; and to ensure that stores do not become overcrowded at any time.