Via Yahoo Finance

Morrisons plans to create 3,500 new jobs and expand its home delivery operation during the coronavirus crisis

In addition to around 2,500 order pickers and drivers to support home delivery, the grocer will be recruiting around 1,000 more people to work in its distribution centres, it said on Tuesday.

The UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group will introduce more slots for customers and new ways of delivering groceries, which will include helping vulnerable people and those affected by the virus.

Measures include a new range of food parcels from March 23, and making more delivery slots available to customers both through and the Morrisons Store on Amazon Prime Now.

Morrisons are hiring more staff to meet shopping demands during the coronavirus pandemic (PA)

The group will also launch a customer call centre for orders to be taken over the phone so that people who do not shop online can still order food to be delivered.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We expect the days, weeks and months ahead to be very testing and we are determined to do our bit.

“These measures will support our very hard-working colleagues, enable us to provide more food to more people in their homes and create opportunities for people whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus.”

The announcement comes after the chain last week vowed to pay small suppliers immediately to help support under-pressure cash flow.

Supermarkets have faced rocketing demand for online grocery deliveries as many Britons have been forced into self-isolation and are shunning shops due to social distancing advice from the Government.

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The demand has left some shoppers unable to secure home delivery slots for up to two weeks.

Morrisons also said it would look to protect employees where possible by asking customers to pay by card or smartphone to reduce cash handling, and by issuing hand sanitiser at checkouts at all stores.

It will also significantly increase cleaning of places that staff and customers touch.

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