Sainsbury’s to double Christmas hiring as online sales boom

Sainsbury’s will double the number of seasonal workers the supermarket chain employs this winter as it expects three-quarters of a million online orders every week.

The company said that 12,000 seasonal roles would be created, twice the amount of last year’s 6,000.

The news comes about a month after Sainsbury’s said it planned to cut around 3,500 jobs as it closes its meat, fish and deli counters and some Argos stores. The plans were to save around £60 million.

Online grocery orders have boomed this year amid the pandemic, as people stuck at home opted to get their food delivered.

Similarly to many of its rivals, Sainsbury’s has doubled its online groceries capacity this year.

It expects to receive around 750,000 online orders every week this month, either through door delivery, or click and collect.

“This Christmas will be like no other and the way customers want to shop for their celebrations has changed completely,” said Sainsbury’s retail and digital director Clo Moriarty.

“To help them find everything they need and shop how they want, we’re recruiting thousands more Christmas colleagues than in previous years.

Supermarkets are also worried that an influx of people trying to get food for their Christmas dinners, might cause stores to fill up.

Ms Moriarty said: “We’re doing everything we can to make Christmas special for our customers and we’re asking them to play their part by shopping early and shopping alone, wherever possible. This will really help everyone spend less time queuing and more time celebrating.”

Earlier this week a Kantar survey of close to 47,000 people found that many of the supermarkets have seen sales grow by between 7% and 14% in the last few weeks.

Sainsbury’s growth reached 10.8%, keeping it on a steady 15.7% market share. It is exactly the same percentage of the market that Sainsbury’s held this time last year.

The temporary roles in Sainsbury’s will pay £9.30 in store, with slightly higher levels around London.

By March next year the supermarket plans to have created 6,000 permanent new roles, largely to support its online growth.