- Albertsons has partnered with 17 companies to offer part-time jobs to their furloughed employees, according to a company press release. The grocer has set up dedicated application sites for employees from the participating companies.
- Partner companies represent multiple industries such as restaurant, hospitality and entertainment, and include partners like MGM Resorts International, Hilton, Regal Cinemas and BJ’s Restaurants.
- Albertsons is immediately looking to hire 30,000 new associates to support demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The company said it is in a unique position to help those who need employment during the outbreak.
Demand at grocery stores may return to normal in the future, but for now grocery stores can’t add staff quickly enough to meet customer needs and many other industries can't afford to pay employees because they've shut down operations.
CEO Vivek Sankaran said in a statement Albertsons is grateful to be a resource to people who need to work right now, while also filling a critical need in its own business. Albertsons noted that it understands that many people will return to their old jobs when the outbreak is over, but in the meantime, the company supports people’s efforts to keep working.
While people who work in other service-oriented industries can transfer their customer service skills to a job in grocery, they could still face a learning curve in preparing to work with customers who need essentials like food and household goods during a time of crisis. Albertsons didn’t note specific efforts to address this, but a modified version of training will likely be provided, similar to other grocers’ efforts. This includes having temporary hires handle tasks that don't involve a lot of training, like restocking shelves and bagging groceries, rather than using point-of-sale systems, which can take time to learn.
Other retailers are engaging in creative partnerships to find staff as their needs increase. CVS has reported that it is turning to clients like Marriott and Hilton to fill open positions. In Florida, Sedano’s has teamed up with a local restaurant group to hire about 400 employees, while Giant Eagle is tapping people from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ arena staff.
Albertsons has been proactive in its response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the grocer announced it would waive same-day and next-day prescription delivery fees through May 1, and has also pledged $3 million to help families access food. The company launched senior shopping hours across its banners and added contactless delivery for grocery orders. In addition, it is closing its stores an hour earlier to thoroughly clean surfaces, installed plexiglass barriers at checkout counters and closed all self-serve stations.