Stop & Shop, Aldi U.S. and Lidl US are expanding hiring as grocery retailers nationwide seek extra hands to help with surging consumer purchases and stronger health safety measures amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop said Thursday it plans to hire at least 5,000 new associates for regular part-time jobs in stores, distribution centers and delivery operations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
To help identify potential candidates for openings across all shifts and all positions, the Ahold Delhaize USA supermarket chain said it will work with the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) and local businesses that have been forced to lay off or furlough staff.
Part-time positions — which Stop & Shop noted aren’t temporary — include night crew, cashiers and porters as well as jobs in the retailer’s bakery, deli, grocery, produce, seafood and meat departments. The chain operates more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.
“Stop & Shop’s associates are doing extraordinary work to serve our customers and local communities during this unprecedented time, and we are looking forward to adding great new members to the team,” Maria Silvestri, senior vice president of human resources at Stop & Shop, said in a statement. “Recognizing the enormous impact that the coronavirus emergency is having on local employment, we also hope these new positions will provide an important base of new growth and opportunity for many of our neighbors across the region.”
Also on Thursday, Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US announced plans to hire up to 1,000 temporary employees across its store network and distribution centers for a minimum of two months.
Lidl said newly hired employees without health insurance will be immediately eligible for medical benefits — covering testing and treatment for COVID-19 — at no cost under what the company called a “first-in-the industry policy” with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
There will be no waiting time to receive the insurance, Lidl noted. Current U.S. employees enrolled in company insurance plans will automatically receive the enhanced medical benefits package, which waives co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles, the company said, adding that the coverage also includes virtual visits via the CareFirst Video Visit platform.
“Every day, our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our customers and our team, and that is our primary focus during this public health emergency,” Lidl US Chairman Roman Heini stated. “The new positions announced today will help us better meet the unprecedented needs of our customers. We are working hard to serve them and protect the health of our employees who are playing a critical role.”
Currently, Lidl operates more than 95 U.S. stores in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
“When Lidl US asked us to help develop an enhanced plan to support their team amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we were honored to partner with them,” commented Brian Pieninck, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. “The services that Lidl and its employees provide are essential to our communities, especially during periods of great challenge and uncertainty. By offering comprehensive COVID-19 coverage, Lidl US is demonstrating their commitment to put people first.”
Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi U.S. reported yesterday that, as part of its coronavirus response, it has hired nearly 7,500 employees and is “continuing to hire more each day,” including temporary positions in its stores and warehouses.
Aldi said it also has stepped up support for employees through temporary wage increases for workers in stores and warehouses as well as an adjusted sick-leave policy to ensure staff stay home when not feeling well. The retailer, too, said it’s donating $1 million to community organizations to support people in need during the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Now more than ever, our service to the community is critical. As more Americans are advised to stay home, we want to reassure you that ALDI stores will remain open and our focus is to keep our shelves stocked,” Aldi said in a message to customers. “We are extremely proud of and grateful for our amazing team and network of partners who are working harder than ever to serve you and your families.”