Retail chain rehires 2,000 workers as online business booms

A small group of critical roles will be maintained to undertake essential work

Retail chain rehires 2,000 workers as online business booms

Department store chain Myer is asking 2,000 employees to return to work as the company strives to keep up with soaring demand for online goods.

The retailer witnessed an 800% spike in online sales during the Easter holiday, leading it to call back workers who were earlier stood down when physical stores were shuttered and the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding.

READ MORE: 'We are on the way back to a COVID-safe economy,' says Scott Morrison

While brick-and-mortar stores remain closed, the company’s “continued focus on online” has enabled it to “bring back more than 2,000 team members into work to assist with our online fulfilment during this very busy time,” Geoff Ikin, chief customer officer at Myer, said last week.

Ikin noted how employees are working hard to stay on top of the surge in online shopping, delivering purchases as quickly as possible: 26 locations are now handling online fulfilment, with 20% of the workforce supporting it.

“A small group of critical roles will continue to be maintained to undertake essential work during the period and to support our online business,” the company said.

Encouraging growth
Myer CEO John King said strong growth in the online division has been encouraging, but the company is holding back on plans to reopen physical stores soon.

The retailer announced it is pushing back resuming physical-store operations from the earlier target date of 27 April to 11 May.

“Myer will closely monitor government measures and advice over the coming weeks, with a view to reopening stores as soon as possible,” the company said, adding that store reopenings would likely take place gradually.

READ MORE: Laid-off workers called back to build 10,000 respirators

The move, King said, is “reflective of our continuing focus on operating our business in a manner that protects the health and wellbeing of customers and team members”.

Myer has also given full-time and part-time workers “greater flexibility” with their leave benefits and entitlements. Meanwhile, employees whose work has been severely affected by the pandemic may eventually receive $1,500 fortnightly through the JobKeeper program of the federal government.

Recent articles & video

Queensland introduces 'nation-leading' reforms in new bill

Ghosted by candidates: how to stop talent reneging on contracts

NSW employers laud the state budget's 'focus on immediate support'

Ceridian offers agile SaaS solutions for engagement, recruitment and payroll

Most Read Articles

Queensland officially bans 'claim farming'

Should HR dismiss an employee over 'inappropriate rants' sent via email?

Employer faces six-figure penalty for falsifying records