Aldi announced tonight it’s seeking to recruit laid-off retail, catering and hospitality staff to reinforce its 4,000-strong work force.
The German retailer – like other supermarkets battling over the past week to keep shelves stocked in the face of intensified shopping – said it also is reducing opening hours to take some pressure off existing staff.
While many of Aldi’s 142 stores currently open at 8am and close at 9pm or 10pm, the company said all branches would start opening at 9am and close at 8pm.
“This is slightly shorter than usual to help support our colleagues, who have been working tirelessly, and to ensure our stores are at their best every day,” said Aldi buying director John Curtin.
Aldi declined to specify how many new staff it intends to recruit or on what terms. It said all applicants would be welcome but the firm was especially keen to hire those recently laid off amid the wave of pub, restaurant, hotel and retail closures.
“Retail is going to be at the front line of the battle against Covid-19,” Mr Curtin said. “Equally, we are very conscious of being able to provide opportunities to some of the very many people who have lost their livelihoods - hopefully temporarily - through no fault of their own.”
Aldi said it is joining Lidl, Tesco and Iceland in launching dedicated hours for elderly shoppers. It said other customers should leave 11am to 1pm daily to elderly and other vulnerable shoppers.
Tesco has set aside 8am-9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for elderly customers and family carers. Lidl has designated 9am-11am daily for shoppers aged 65 or older.
In all cases, the stores are asking for other shoppers’ voluntary cooperation.