Ben HaywardSeptember 3rd

While every day seems to bring news of more job losses at the moment, the Co-op is bucking the trend to create 1,000 new jobs.

With the opening of 50 new stores now planned, the Co-op is the latest supermarket to expand its activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new roles are to be spread across both the new shops and another 15 stores that are due to be enlarged as part of a £130m investment, while a further 12 franchised stores, run with Co-op branding but owned by others, are also planned for 2020.

The latest expansion represents the Co-op’s second round of hiring  during 2020 after it gave permanent jobs to 1,000 of the 5,000 workers it brought in to cope with the increased workload at the height of lockdown.

The Co-op currently employs 55,000 workers across the UK, and while employment in both the high-street retail and hospitality sectors has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, on the contrary, supermarkets have been forced to deal with record high demand and new costs as customers revised their shopping habits during lockdown. 

A huge rise in the number of customers using online grocery delivery services has been witnessed - with a report published by Waitrose finding that the number of people in the UK doing their grocery shop online has doubled since the coronavirus lockdown, in a trend it described as ‘irreversible’.

The most striking increase, according to the How Britain Shops Online report, is in the over-55 age group, with nearly a quarter now buying food and essentials online, compared to just 8% in 2019.

While the latest hiring by the Co-op will occur across the stores, many of its new workers are employed on online orders. Co-op workers collect orders within individual supermarkets for distribution, rather than rely on central fulfilment warehouses.

The Co-op also has a distribution deal across 400 stores with Deliveroo, the delivery app that has expanded from takeaway food to groceries and is currently running their own version of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme that finished at the end of August.

Deliveroo’s ‘Eat IN to Help Out’ is offering customers £5 off the cost of deliveries in order to support smaller businesses, many of whom are still struggling to bounce back from the economic effects of Covid-19.

Just like the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Deliveroo’s new offer will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with customers being provided with a different code every week in order to claim the reduction.

On top of that, new customers are also being given 14 days' free delivery throughout September and October - meaning there is the potential for some pretty huge savings to be made!

Don't forget that TOTUM members get 10% discount in-store every time you shop at the Co-op!

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