Supermarket Asda has 5,000 festive jobs available with the chain across the UK, it has been announced today.
A recruitment drive began eight weeks ago in order to prepare the stores for the busy Christmas period and so far, 2,000 employees have been hired nationwide.
Part of a £5 million investment in improving shoppers’ experiences, the grocer believes that this initiative highlights its commitment to customer service.
Roles still available include specialist service hosts, who can speed up the buying process by tracking down last minute gifts for shoppers, and dedicated advisers providing guidance on gifts such as the latest gadgets and clothing trends.
Existing employees, such as delivery drivers, will also benefit from the move, as Asda is offering 750,000 hours overtime to colleagues hoping to save up for Christmas.
Last month, the Asda Income Tracker revealed that families were £15 per week worse off year-on-year in September in terms of disposable income – a drop of 8.4 per cent.
As such, the retailer says it is focused on offering solid customer service and good value and hopes that offered fixed-term contracts to the majority of seasonal employees will benefit shoppers.
Andy Clarke, Asda CEO and President, said: “Our customers love Christmas – and they want everything to be just right – that’s why we’re bringing in 7,000 extra pairs of hands to make sure it goes without a hitch.
“We are hoping that this will not only provide extra help to our customers when they need it most, but also much needed job opportunities in our local communities. “
In a further push to emphasise the importance of convenience for customers, the grocer has also announced this week that it will offer free returns through a partnership with delivery and returns company Collect Plus.
Customers wishing to return items will be able to do so free of charge at a network of over 4,000 local shops where Collect Plus has a presence, all of which are open early until late, and most operate seven days a week.
The deal is expected to result in 33 per cent of Asda Direct returns packages a year returned via local shops with parcel delivery company Yodel providing the logistics.
Steven Hall, Returns Manager at Asda Direct, explained the reasons for working with Collect Plus.
“We wanted to give our customers a choice of how they returned their goods and to make it as convenient for them to do so as possible,” he commented.
“Secondly, we also wanted a system that made it easy for both our customers and ourselves to track the returns through the reverse journey. Using Collect Plus will allow us to monitor which goods to expect back and when, and will help our customers to fully track their parcels back to our returns centre, helping improve customer experience.”