Throughout the world, businesses have been forced to close or scale back operations, furlough employees, or reduce hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers, such as Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, are now partnering with companies to provide part-time jobs to their employees who have been furloughed or had their hours cut. According to The New York Times, Kroger is hiring 10,000 people across its stores and distribution centers.
“The most valuable asset and the core of any business is people, and we are working hard with many human resource teams across a variety of businesses who are actively defining next steps for their employees,” said Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO, Albertsons, in a company press release. “So many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors are scaling back hours or temporarily closing as their customers remain home and adhere to shelter-in-place orders. We are grateful to be a resource to help fill a critical need in our own business and take care of people who want to continue working during this time of national emergency.”
Supermarket companies are considered “critical infrastructure,” according to the U.S. federal government, and are required to operate during the crisis. To respond to that requirement, Albertsons is immediately hiring 30,000 new associates. Currently, Albertsons has secured partnerships with 17 companies, including BJ’s Restaurants, G6 Hospitality, Hilton, Inspire Brands, Marriott International, MGM Resorts, and Regal Cinemas.
Food and beverage manufacturers are also seeking to hire workers to help them meet the surge in demand for their goods and reinforce their current workforce. Mondelēz International, for example, has announced that it expects to hire 1,000 frontline U.S. employees to ensure the uninterrupted functioning of its U.S. distribution and sales network in the coming months. The company is encouraging individuals who may be displaced by the closing of other businesses to apply for these positions. In addition to providing paid sick leave to ensure the frontline employees remain healthy, PepsiCo will also hire 6,000 new, full-time, full-benefit frontline employees across the United States in the coming months. PepsiCo, like many other manufacturers and retailers, is hiring extra workers in preparation for when employees get sick with the virus or have to stay home to care for family members.
As Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer, explained in a company press release, the grocer wants to “make it easier for associates to follow our guidance to stay home if they feel sick and to do our part to flatten the curve.”