Tesco in Catterick Garrison is to hire extra staff to cope with the increased demand caused by the coronavirus.
The store is also planning to reserve shopping time just for the elderly and the vulnerable.
The store is hiring a “sizeable” number of customer assistants and delivery drivers, according to a notice from the store manager.
The notice said: “I know that we are all experiencing some extraordinary circumstances at the moment due to the coronavirus.
“I just want to let you know that here at Tesco we are working around the clock in an effort to make essential items available to all of our customers.
“As such, we are looking to employ a sizeable number of additional colleagues to ensure that we can continue to do so…
“I know that a lot of people in the Catterick area have been financially effected by this pandemic due to loss of or a reduction in work and we would like to reach out to our local community to offer these jobs.
“We are now in a position whereby within 4 hours from start to finish you could become a Tesco employee and helping us serve our Catterick customers.”
In an email to customers Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said the company had been doing everything it could to keep business as usual.
But he added: “We now have to accept it is not business as usual.
“In the last two weeks, we have seen significant and prolonged increases in demand across all of our stores and this is leading to shortages in some products for some customers.
“Reacting to the latest government announcements, we have to plan on this situation being the new normal and we will do all that we can to make the food you want available, but we need your help.
“In order to protect the core shopping essentials, we are going to implement some changes in our stores.”
From Thursday 19 March we will start to implement the following changes:
- To ensure more people have access to everyday essentials, we are introducing a storewide restriction of only 3 items per customer on every product line, and removing multi-buy promotions.
- In order to allow Tesco colleagues to focus on stocking shelves, helping to provide the essential groceries you are looking for and to avoid waste, we will close all meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars.
- To be able to ensure our stores are clean, that we can replenish stock, and allow our colleagues to rest, we will change our trading hours with all stores closing at 10pm.
- To ensure we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection for both our customers and colleagues, we will be introducing some distancing measures at the checkout and, to make it swifter, invite customers who can, to pay by card.
- To help free up slots for the more vulnerable, such as our elderly customers and those who are self-isolating, we are encouraging customers who shop online or choose Click+Collect for their grocery home shopping, to prioritise shopping in-store where possible.
- To ensure our more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store, we will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am (except in our Express stores) and ask that you respect this.
The chief executive added: “Tesco store colleagues can’t work from home and a good number of them will need to respond to personal or family challenges connected with dealing with COVID-19.
“So we would please ask that you understand the challenging environment in which we are all working. If you do go in-store and want to say thank you, then I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
“So, if you could help us by limiting demand of essential items and allowing us to focus on the core needs of our customers – we are confident that we can continue to feed the nation.
“We are delivering food daily to our stores, but this is a very challenging time and we will only get through this if we work together.”
The jobs will be advertised at www.tesco-careers.com from Thursday this week.