John Lewis to recruit 7,000 temporary workers for Christmas period

The John Lewis Partnership has revealed plans to recruit more than 7,000 temporary workers across the country this Christmas.

John Lewis has its flagship Northern store in Leeds

Directors at the employee-owned business behind John Lewis and Waitrose said this would be 2,000 more than last year, to meet expected increased demand over the festive period and to help customers get what they need to celebrate.

The new employees will be spread across the retailer’s supermarkets, department stores and fulfilment centres, including delivery drivers for its online grocery division.

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John Lewis, which has its flagship Northern store in Leeds, also revealed that it will recruit 550 permanent full time driver and warehouse workers across distribution centres and and John customer delivery sites.

The company added that new staff – who will become partners – and temporary workers will be offered free food and drink to “help ensure we can attract the help we need”.

Nikki Humphrey, people director at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We know that as the first Christmas after lockdown, customers will want to make it really special and we’re throwing everything we can into helping them celebrate – our festive team will have a crucial role to play.

“We’re looking for people who can deliver extraordinary service to help customers get what they need to celebrate. We look forward to welcoming people into our team across the country.”

The company will also launch Christmas stores in shops from October, alongside 100 new Christmas products, and will use a new 300,000 square foot distribution centre in Bardon, Leicestershire, to support demand ahead of the Black Friday sales in November.

At Waitrose, the firm will recruit seasonal roles across its 331 Waitrose shops, including supermarket assistants, night shift workers and customer delivery drivers for its online grocery shopping service,

It will also recruit temporary roles at its 34 John Lewis stores, including sales and merchandising positions.

Jobs will start to be advertised in phases on as well as and Google from September 16 throughout September and October. A variety of working hours will be available.

John Lewis said that recruiting additional roles is just one way in which it will help customers with their preparations for the festive period, whatever its customers are celebrating.

10 newly designed Christmas emporiums will be launched in shops from October, offering a one-stop Christmas shop for a ”fun, inspirational experience”, including in-store events and workshops for the whole family.

Over 100 brand new Christmas products will appear in Waitrose alongside much-loved favourites, including Slow-Cooked Bone-In British Venison Shoulder, Heston from Waitrose, The Giant Cracking Penny and 20 vegan products.

I​n a bid​ to overcome the driver shortage over the festive period, John Lewis ​recently announced plans to increase annual salaries for LGV drivers by up to £5,000 a year.

LGV drivers employed by John Lewis and Waitrose ​are getting a pay rise of around £2 an hour in their base pay across all its regional and national distribution sites.

The salary increases - which follow a review of LGV driver rates in the ​p​artnership - are designed to ensure that both retailers can continue to recruit LGV drivers at market competitive rates.

Around 900 drivers currently employed will benefit from the higher pay rates.

In addition to higher recruitment rates​, the retailer will also offer a welcome payment of £1,000 to new LGV Drivers with C+E licences joining the business before November 2021 as ​it enters​ ​its​ peak trading period.

In addition, ​it is​ planning to invest in driver recruitment and training by establishing a driver training programme to allow existing ​p​artners and new recruits without LGV experience to train up.

​It said that t​his will help address the acute shortage of LGV drivers, which is affecting the entire industry.

Mark Robinson, ​d​irector of ​s​upply ​c​hain for the John Lewis Partnership, said:​ ​“There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel for Waitrose and John Lewis.

​“​We’re responding quickly to the national driver shortage by ensuring our drivers are paid competitively and by investing in training for the future.

“These changes will mean that we can continue to serve our customers well and get them the products they need.”