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Coles opens three pop-up distribution centres to meet demand, and there’s more to come

The last month has seen widespread devastation across Australia’s retail community with many retailers shutting their doors as consumers opt to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Supermarkets, however, have witnessed a boom in trade, as consumer stock up on essential grocery and household items.

Last week, Woolworths announced that it would hire 20,000 staff to manage the unprecedented demand in stores and online and, over the weekend, Coles revealed plans to recruit 5000 staff, on top of 7000 already hired in the space of two weeks.

Coles’ latest recruits were placed across supermarkets and liquor stores, with further roles on offer in these areas. Coles is also looking for Customer Service Agents to deliver online orders, and more than 100 trade-qualified bakers for in-store bakeries.

Three new pop-up distribution centres have opened in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to meet demand, with more on the way.

“We are also looking to open additional distribution centres to help us move more stock to stores and will help create even more jobs,” Coles CEO Steven Cain said.

The supermarket giant is working with employers and unions to place those that have recently lost their job as a result of the health pandemic.

Cain said the retailer has been “overwhelmed” by the number of applications received from people across different industries such as travel, sport, fitness and hospitality.

“To ensure we could act quickly, we streamlined our recruitment processes and assigned a dedicated team to fast track applications sent by corporate partners like Australian Venue Company and Virgin Australia,” he said.

“We have seen a lot of demand for roles, and where we have positions available, we are making sure that we can get people into them as quickly as possible.”

The latest recruits took up 6500 casual positions, 430 part-time and 80 full-time management positions. The majority of these roles were placed in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

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