Coronavirus Forces Grocery Stores To Increase Hiring To Keep Up With Demand

Long lines in a grocery store. Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

Long lines in a grocery store. Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Grocery stores across the United States are hiring more workers to keep up with demand because of the coronavirus outbreak. Job openings range from overnight stockers to part-time cashiers. Some stores are also shifting workers to areas that need more help as panic buying continues to be a problem in many parts of the country.

Although grocery stores have started to limit purchases of specific items and have urged customers not to hoard, they are still struggling to keep up with rising demand. As more cities and states restrict dine-in eating at restaurants, grocery shopping will increase even more. Long checkout lines and empty shelves that need to be restocked frequently have forced stores to ramp up hiring.

Kroger, which owns multiple chains including Ralphs, Harris Teeter and Fred Meyer, has started to advertise jobs on its website and in emails. Reuters reports that Kroger has immediate openings in “retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers.” On Kroger’s website, some of the open jobs are for cashiers, grocery clerks and pharmacy technicians.

An employee directs shoppers as they wait in line to enter a Costco in Hawthorne, California.

An employee directs shoppers as they wait in line to enter a Costco in Hawthorne, California. … [+] Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP

Costco is also hiring to deal with rising demand in its stores. For instance, NBC Los Angeles reports that the Woodland Hills Costco has “an average of 1,300 people waiting” outside when it opens.

Safeway and Albertsons are trying to fill 2,000 open positions in their Washington stores. There are openings for delivery drivers and in-store employees.

Smaller chains are also hiring at the local level. H-E-B has both part-time and full-time positions open in Texas. There are opportunities available in its warehouses and stores. The company has advertised for short-term stockers, customer service assistants and checkers. H-E-B also plans to move some workers to departments that are dealing with higher demand, such as curbside delivery and pick up.

Amazon Prime orders waiting on delivery at a Whole Foods.

Amazon Prime orders waiting on delivery at a Whole Foods because of a backlog of orders due to a … [+] shortage of drivers in Pentagon City, Virginia. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch /IPX

/MediaPunch/IPx

Online retailers are also feeling the rise in demand and responding to it. Amazon wants to hire 100,000 workers across the U.S. because of the increase in online purchases. Some customers are already seeing longer delivery times, so the company wants to hire more warehouse employees and drivers for part-time or full-time positions.

The coronavirus outbreak is changing how people shop, and panic buying is putting a strain on grocery stores. There is a demand for both in-store shopping and online deliveries of food, which many retailers are trying to fulfill at the same time. As this continues, you can expect to see more companies advertise that they are hiring.

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