Morrisons to recruit 3,500 to get through coronavirus crisis

A sign informing customers about a restriction on the number of allowed packets of toilet roll is seen on a shelf inside a Morrisons supermarket in Liverpool,Britain, March 11, 2020 . REUTERS/Phil Noble

Morrisons said on Tuesday it planned to create 3,500 new jobs to help get it through the coronavirus crisis.

In addition to around 2,500 order pickers and drivers to expand its home delivery service, Morrisons will be recruiting around 1,000 people to work in its distribution centres, it said.

Amazon on Monday said it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the US to deal with a surge in online orders, as many consumers have turned to the web to meet their needs.

The move by the UK retailer follows a public appeal on Sunday by leading supermarkets to stop panic buying during the coronavirus outbreak.

Read More: Coronavirus care: Stores open early for older shoppers

Social media has been awash over the last week with pictures of empty shelves in major supermarkets, with items like dried pasta, toilet rolls and canned food particularly sought after.

Trading in UK supermarkets has been intense, with some shop bosses saying it can only be compared to the pre-Christmas rush.

Read More: Coronavirus: Supermarkets may cut services to stay open

In an earlier coronavirus response, Morrisons has on Friday announced that it plans to pay its smaller suppliers within 48 hours to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrisons has around 3,000 small suppliers including 1,750 farmers that will benefit from the move, it said. Currently its smallest food manufacturers are on 14 day payment terms.

Read More: Indies go above and beyond in coronavirus response  

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to 1,543, up from 1,372 the day before, the health authorities said on Monday. The death toll rose to 55.