Iceland Foods, the private label retail specialist operating more than 950 stores in the United Kingdom, has created more than 3,000 new jobs to meet a 300% increase in demand for home deliveries since August 2019, with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic lockdown driving particularly strong growth in online orders during the first half of the year. Newly hired workers include both additional delivery drivers and the expansion of supporting in-store teams.
As a government-imposed lockdown was announced in the UK, demand for Iceland’s delivery service surged leading to a four-fold increase in delivery orders, placed both online and in stores, via the retailer’s Home Delivery service. With Iceland now having the ability to handle three-quarters of a million orders every week, the supermarket operator has undertaken a recruitment drive to meet the ongoing demand.
The trend towards online shopping and home deliveries is not expected to change as the weather shifts over the coming weeks and months, thus Iceland is meeting the demand head on by increasing its delivery fleet by 30%.
London customers can get groceries delivered in just 20 minutes to their office or home thanks to a new partnership with UberEats, the retailer’s latest move to expand its delivery capabilities. The online delivery service provides pick-ups from Iceland’s Hackney store to those in the city.
The pandemic forced the company, along with many other retailers, to change normal operating styles in order to support local communities. An Iceland store manager in West Belfast was the first to introduce “vulnerable shopping hours,” an inspiring initiative which led to a nationwide rollout by Iceland and the adoption of similar initiatives by all major grocery retailers.
“We’ve been blown away by the demand for deliveries over the past six months, and see no sign of a slowdown in the demand for deliveries in the run up to Christmas. So a recruitment drive for more permanent staff was essential,” said David Devany, chief customer and digital officer at Iceland Foods.
Iceland offers free next day delivery on orders over £35, and a Home Delivery service in many of its high street stores, providing in-store customers the choice of a same-day home delivery.