The Co-op announced it has filled 5,000 temporary store roles it created last week in just seven days after an “unprecedented response” to the recruitment drive.
The 5,000 new employees will have all been inducted to the group’s network of stores by this weekend.
The retailer said that those who are unexpectedly out of work due to the pandemic have “shown their desire to find employment, keep shelves stocked and feed the nation amidst such unprecedented times”.
It added that the additional staffing will enable the group to “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.”
The group has also announced a “raft of measures” to enforce social distancing in stores, including the introduction of floor markers and controlling the number of customers in stores at any one time.
Co-op employees in business support roles are also being encouraged to ‘lend-a-hand’ in their local Co-op amid the surge in demand for groceries.