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Morrisons increases employment to keep up with online demand

As online shopping shoots up due to the coronavirus, British supermarket chain Morrisons is hiring some 6,000 new employees to keep up with the demand.

Headquartered in Yorkshire, Morrisons — the fourth largest supermarket chain in Britian — says it will keep 25,000 of the 45,000 temporary staff it hired in March to tackle the COVID-19 lockdown.

Online sales in the retail sector have soared during the pandemic, especially during the during the nationwide lockdown, which lasted for three months until June. During that period many consumers resorted to the internet to perform their weekly grocery shop.

A Morrisons supermarket

While the coronavirus has hit businesses that depend on store locations, it has created a boom for internet-reliant companies. Amazon, for example, recently announced that would increase its employment by about 7,000 people before the new year.

The story is similar over at leading supermarket chain Tesco, where online demand has created the need for some 16,000 new jobs.

But the news has been far from all good for Bradford-based Morrisons, which says it took a hit of £155-million due to investment costs related to the coronavirus. But a government tax break of £93-million helped the company to offset that amount.

ACQUIRES LANSEN NURSERY

Meanwhile, Morrisons announced on Wednesday that it would be acquiring Lansen Nursery, a leading supplier of outdoor plants.

The acquisition means that Morrisons will offer more locally sourced and homegrown British horticulture whilst becoming more competitive for customers.

Lansen Nursery has been a long standing supplier to Morrisons with more than 20 years trading experience together. 

The company is based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, the home for many leading outdoor plant businesses.

Morrisons says the acquisition will enable it to develop its garden centres further, widening the range of outdoor plants available for customers.

All 25 staff employed at the site at Spalding in Lincolnshire will become Morrisons staff in a growing manufacturing business.

Andrew Thornber, Morrisons’ manufacturing director, said: “We’re already the single biggest customer for British farmers and the addition of Lansen Nursery to our manufacturing business will give us a strong position in horticulture. Uniquely, we will be able to control the quality and cost of plants that are grown for sale in our supermarkets.”

The acquisition broadens Morrisons Horticulture business, complementing its existing Flowerworld business in Derby which packs the majority of all the fresh cut flowers and bouquets that are sold in Morrisons stores. 

Morrisons says it is already the largest supermarket customer for British farmers and makes most of its own fresh food in 18 manufacturing sites and 497 stores, including bakery, seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables, flowers and chilled processed products.

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