Desperate supermarkets hire more staff to beat the pingdemic: Iceland targets 2,000 temps to keep stores open as shelves empty across UK with meat, bottled water and ice cream in short supply
- Iceland confirmed in the next few days it will start to draft in another 2,000 employees to fill temporary roles
- Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons stores were seen with significant gaps in their shelves this afternoon
- Comes after the British Meat Processors Association CEO warned about impact on supplies from ‘pingdemic’
- Issue is exacerbating an existing shortage of delivery drivers caused by Brexit and delays with HGV licenses
- A Food and Drink Federation survey revealed three-quarters of its members reported a driver shortage
- It comes as a third of Dorset Police’s control room staff were off work after being ordered to self-isolate
Desperate supermarkets are hiring more staff to beat the ‘pingdemic’ as shelves lie empty across the country while workers self-isolate due to the NHS Test & Trace app.
Iceland today confirmed in the next few days it will start to draft in another 2,000 employees to fill temporary roles across its shops following an advertising blitz in stores, on social media and in service stations.
The frozen food chain has been forced to reduce opening hours this week and its northern sites have been particularly hard hit by staff absences.
Pictures show aisles at some supermarkets already empty of cheese, meat, bottle water, ice cream and fresh vegetables as an expert warned food chains were ‘starting to fail’ due to staff shortages exacerbated by the ‘pingdemic’ – and one police force struggled to answer 999 calls.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons stores in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Southampton were seen with significant gaps on the shelves in sections including frozen fish, pizzas, bottled water, ice creams and packaged salads.
The images will raise concerns that a lack of supermarket staff and delivery drivers are leading to delays in replenishing product lines, although it is likely that many of these products are in higher demand in the summer, while other shoppers reported plentiful supplies.
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UK food supply chains ‘on the edge of failing’, meat industry warns
- COVID-19 aggravates labour shortage in meat processing
- ‘Pingdemic’ affecting multiple industries
- Retailers under pressure to maintain hours, stock shelves