Tesco has seen a mass increase in online sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the supermarket to create 16,000 permanent jobs. 

According to new figures, Tesco saw over a quarter increase (28.7 per cent) in pre-tax profit from 1st March up until 29th August, with profit levels reaching £551 million.

In particular, its online shopping saw a large surge in demand, seeing a 69 per cent growth in sales this year from typical year-on-year figures. Tesco reported their doubling of delivery slots during the pandemic to 1.5 million slots a week with the supermarket serving 674,000 vulnerable customers.

As a result of this, Tesco has created 16,000 permanent jobs to support the “exceptional growth” (from 9 per cent pre-pandemic to 16 per cent currently) in online sales. This will include 10,000 staff who will pick up the orders from shelves and 3,000 new delivery drivers.

Tesco stated that most of these jobs would be given to those who had joined their workforce at the start of the pandemic as temporary staff. In addition, Tesco have stated their intention to support the Government’s Kickstarter scheme which was put into place to support young people aged 16-24 to find jobs. It is estimated that 1,000 of these Tesco jobs will be offered to young people.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK & ROI CEO, said:

Since the start of the pandemic, our colleagues have helped us to more than double our online capacity, safely serving nearly 1.5 million customers every week and prioritising vulnerable customers to ensure they get the food they need.

These new roles will help us continue to meet online demand for the long term.

According to recent figures by the Guardian, Tesco is not the only store to have increased their profit through online sales.

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, similarly saw an increase of $74 billion added to his wealth as more people turned to Amazon during the pandemic, leading to an increase in Amazon’s share price.

In March 2020, Amazon also announced they were opening 100,000 new job roles in fulfilment centres and within the delivery network to meet the “surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service”.

This week, HRreview previously reported on Tesco’s ongoing legal battle with employees over an equal pay dispute.