- Ahold Delhaize banner Stop & Shop is hosting hiring fairs Saturday to help it fill over 1,000 part-time positions, according to a company press release.
- The retailer will add 600 associates to stores in Connecticut, 250 to stores in Massachusetts and 300 in New York to improve the customer service experience.
- Stop & Shop is looking to staff up its bakery, deli, grocery, produce, seafood and meat departments and also wants to hire night crew, cashiers, porters and baggers.
A hiring spree of this size is a significant investment for Stop & Shop and parent company Ahold Delhaize, but the move illustrates the banner's emphasis on improving the in-store experience and boosting customer loyalty in an era where more retailers are pushing toward digital offerings.
Retailers are turning to technology to enhance in-store experience with things like shop & scan, check-out kiosks, digital shelf displays and in-store robots. But roughly 70% of consumers said they would prefer to speak to a human when they have a customer service question in lieu of engaging with a digital customer service representative, according to research from the Sitel Group.
Stop & Shop is working to restore relations with its employees following a major strike in April. The company recently reached agreements with five United Food and Commercial Workers union chapters representing 31,000 employees, which include higher pay, continued health care coverage for covered associates, and retirement benefits for eligible associates. While some job seekers may be keen to join a grocery company, others could be wary of joining Stop & Shop after the conflict.
Grocery chains have continued to add staff both to support in-store experience and digital expansion, with Kroger adding 11,000 employees last year after adding 10,000 jobs in 2017. Kroger has also invested $500 million in enhancing worker training and development.
Earlier this year, Sprouts Farmers Market announced 1,500 new positions across all departments and levels after creating 3,500 new jobs and promoting 28 team members in 2018. The natural grocer will also staff up as it opens 13 new stores in the second half of 2019 in markets like California and Florida.
With the ongoing low unemployment rate in the U.S., grocery companies are working to stand out to attract and retain employees. Hannaford just added paid parental leave, and the National Grocers Association revamped its Foundation Career Center to connect job seekers with employers and provide more professional development resources and training opportunities.