Tesco Ireland has recruited 1,000 staff since onset of Covid-19

Tesco has urged the Mandate trade union to call off proposed strikes in two stores in the coming weeks

Retailer's family and friends recruitment campaign brought 760 colleagues into stores and distribution centre

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25 August 2020 | 0

Tesco Ireland has employed an extra 1,000 extra staff since the beginning of the Covid-19 to help ensure the smooth operation of the business during the pandemic.

A spokeswoman for Tesco Ireland said: “We were delighted with the success of our family and friends recruitment campaign which brought 760 colleagues into our stores and distribution centre, with the reminder joining the business through the normal recruitment channels.”

This initiative had the “dual benefit of ensuring that the business ran smoothly during an extraordinarily busy time, and colleagues could work alongside friends and family who had been made redundant as a result of Covid-19,” the spokeswoman added.

The retailer has also experienced a five-fold increase in the market share of consumers over 65 in online weekly shops.

“Prior to Covid-19, approximately 3% of our online deliveries supported our 65s customers,” the spokeswoman said. “Encouraged by the Think Before You Click campaign and our prioritisation of this group, they now account for 14% of online weekly orders.

At Tesco UK meanwhile, the group has announced plans to create 16,000 new permanent jobs to support its rapidly growing online grocery business. Tesco UK said online sales now accounted for 16% of total sales, up from 9% pre-Covid. It expects internet sales to jump by two-thirds in the current year to £5.5 billion (€6.1bn).

The Irish Times reports the trend has been reflected across the grocery industry, with online market share reaching a record 13.5% in the 12 weeks to 9 August, according to Kantar figures.

However, both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have said they expect to make the same profits this year despite people consuming a lot more food at home from the supermarkets, instead of eating out at restaurants and pubs.

The costs involved in picking orders for customers, plus free delivery offers to entice new customers, has reduced profit margins.

Tesco’s shares have dropped by 10.5% this year, a significantly better result than the nearly 19% fall for the benchmark FTSE 100 index.

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