// Iceland hires 3000 new workers as online business booms
// It says online orders surged by more than 300% since April
// The new jobs include extra delivery drivers & more staff in stores for picking online orders
Iceland has created 3000 new jobs to cope with the surge in demand for online groceries since the lockdown in March, the grocer said.
Bosses revealed that online orders surged by more than 300 per cent since April as shoppers rushed to book delivery slots and all non-essential retailers shut their doors due to the pandemic.
The new jobs include extra delivery drivers and more staff in stores for picking online orders, Iceland added.
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A trial with food delivery platform Uber Eats has also been launched in London, with plans for a larger rollout if successful.
Iceland’s job announcement follows similar moves from rivals hoping to benefit from the accelerated move to online shopping.
Before lockdown the grocer had a minor online operation, compared with some of its competitors.
However, since then its online orders soared four-fold.
Ramping up changes, Iceland revealed it now has the ability to handle 750,000 orders every week.
Grocers are keen to increase their online capacity because many hope the extra costs involved in each order can be reduced as the number of orders grows.
Iceland added that its delivery fleet is increasing by 30 per cent and a trial in Hackney, North London, with UberEats will allow customers to place and receive orders in 20 minutes.
“We’ve been blown away by the demand for deliveries over the past six months with a four-fold increase in online orders since the beginning of lockdown,” Iceland chief digital officer David Devany said.
“We see no sign of a slowdown in the demand for deliveries in the run up to Christmas, so a recruitment drive for more permanent staff was essential.
“Our store and delivery colleagues have gone above and beyond during lockdown introducing incredible measures to help their local communities, and I’m proud that our business has been able to adapt to the changing needs of our customer.”
The move comes after Morrisons said it would hire thousands more staff to increase its own online capabilities.
Bosses revealed they took on 45,000 extra staff when coronavirus hit the UK, with 25,000 still in posts.
Around 6000 have been given permanent contracts and further announcements expected this week.
Elsewhere, Tesco has announced 16,000 permanent extra positions, and Amazon 7000 roles.
with PA Wires