Retailers Hiring Workers in Droves Amid Coronavirus

From Retail Info Systems, March 20:

As many retailers close stores due to concerns over the coronavirus, some are hiring associates by the thousands, and speeding up the hiring process dramatically.

Grocery chain Save A Lot, for example, advertised “Apply Today, Start Tomorrow.” Walmart is implementing a new process to expedite hiring for key roles, such as cashiers and stockers, reducing what is usually a two-week application cycle to a 24-hour process.

RIS often talks about how important is to have technology that allows for retailer to be able to rapidly scale workforce management solutions, training and more. While normally this is needed for rapid expansion or holiday hiring sprees, as retailers face an unprecedented retail environment, they are also up against this well-known challenge as well.

Below are some of the retailers boosting their hiring efforts during this challenging time. (For the complete list, visit RIS’ website.)


Amazon is opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in its fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand. In addition to the new roles, it’s boosting pay, adding an additional $2 per hour to employee salaries in the U.S., through April up from $15 or more.


CVS plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country. Roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals. The company will utilize a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts. Many roles will be filled by existing CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including Hilton and Marriott.


Kroger has hired more than 2,000 people in the last week to keep up with increased demand from the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Rodney McMullen told CNBC. The supermarket chain in the U.S., currently has more than 10,000 openings for positions across plants, warehouses and stores, McMullen said. 

“We have relationships with several different other industries where they’re directing their people to us,” McMullen said. “We have a ton of openings.” 


Walmart is hiring 150,000 new associates in the U.S. through the end of May to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time.

“We’ve reached out to industry groups representing restaurants and hospitality to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time,” the retailer said.

Walmart is also implementing a new process to expedite hiring for key roles, such as cashiers and stockers. What is usually a two-week application cycle will be reduced to a 24-hour process. 

RIS is an EnsembleIQ-affiliated publication. This is a developing list, for the complete and latest version, visit RIS’ website.