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DPD and B&Q to Hire Thousand of Staff as Online Shopping Booms

Delivery company DPD and B&Q owner, Kingfisher, recruit thousands of employees in the UK to help support the increase in demand for products ordered online.

DPD states that it is going to open additional warehouses in response to the “immense” rise in online purchases generated by the coronavirus outbreak.

The closure of high street shops for the last few months during the lockdown spurred to a large influx of people who shop online.

Although the stores were given the go signal to reopen in England on 15 June, online purchases are still considerably high, described by DPD managers as the “biggest growth in online sales” in the UK.

Job opportunities will be distributed throughout the country, with plenty of jobs in effect by November, ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas peak season. Interview sessions and training will be performed via video online.

How many jobs are being recruited?

DPD is to employ 6,000 personnel, comprising HGV drivers, logistics workers, administrators, and support personnel like technicians, as part of its £200 million investment to expand its next-day parcel delivery operation.

The delivery firm, which manages packages for Marks & Spencer as well as Asos and has been delivering food packages for the Morrisons supermarket chain ever since the lockdown started in March. The company is spending £100 million on new delivery vehicles and has been establishing 15 new regional storage facilities, with an additional 10 depots planned this year.

In a job advertisement for the “Multi Drop Delivery And Collection Driver” published by DPD local, the firm stated, “Here at DPD Local, we are searching for passionate customer-centered Multi-Drop drivers to take part on our current roster.”

Jobs listed are being paid £9.15 an hour, but the listing specifies that there is a “bonus package in place” and that the job may compensate up to £ 23,000-£30,000 per year, depends on the routes operated.

Dwain McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of DPD, stated: “We are seeing the greatest increase in online shopping in the UK ‘s history.” He added that demand from current retail clients and new customers is growing, establishing home delivery services so they can keep trading even during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the multinational company Kingfisher, which is the mother company operating B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, is aiming to hire about 3,000 more employees than usual, about half of them would be in the UK.

Job roles include retail managers, warehouse delivery managers, delivery drivers, as well as 2,000 plus in-store customer support on a 3-month service agreement.

Customer representatives are compensated £8.72 per hour, delivery drivers are being paid £9.22 per hour, and the company managers’ salary may vary but usually range from £19,000 to £29,500 every year.

Thierry Garnier, Chief Executive Officer of Kingfisher, said that there are employees that would operate in stores used only to handle online orders. He said that the demand for DIY products had risen while families were stuck in the house, but claimed that trade could slow down a bit as the economic crisis starts hitting employment.

“These are transitory roles throughout the summer, but we’ll continue watching what transpires,” he stated.

New Normal

Online sales in the country, not even including food, increased by a third in May, as per IMRG (digital retail body), after a boost of almost a quarter in April.

The lockdown led to relatively impressive sales of household, garden, and electronic products. Garden revenues rose 288 percent in April and over 162 percent in May as compared to last year’s sales, while electrical purchases greatly increased and household goods increased by 84%.

As presented by Helen Norman, the editor of Postal and Parcel Technology International, the lockdown ushered most people to shopping online for the very first time.

“A huge number of people have only just begun buying online during the coronavirus pandemic and they are going to stick to it as it is easy and more convenient,” she stated.

DPD said that it anticipates a positive pace of growth, even though shops will reopen. It is looking to invest £200 million in new delivery vehicles, local depots, and digital devices for drivers to document delivery services.

“I think High Street is going to rebound from the current situation, but we also have to reflect our analysis on our interactions with retailers and their business forecasts,” said McDonald.

“It seems that even greater dependence on e-commerce will remain and that is going to be our new normal.

Steve Martin is a delivery service worker based in Enfield, North London. He goes on to say that the volume of work increased significantly during the lockdown period.

“I used to deliver an estimated 200 parcels a day before the lockdown, but now it can be ranging from 300 parcels,” he said.

A Surge in Parcel Deliveries

DPD Chief Dwain McDonald characterized the lockdown impact on online purchases, saying, “Since this started, we’ve been managing parcel volumes more like the usual festive seasonal peak.”

Also, the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has disclosed that parcel delivery services have gone up by more than 40% since the beginning of the lockdown. The firm forecasted that there would be a 20 % increase in delivery orders as compared to 2019, despite the anticipated slight slowdown in online purchases as major retailers reopen.

Ideal Direct Recruitment’s general manager John Carter said that the demand had accelerated fourfold during the crisis.

“There has been tremendous growth in the number of people needed since COVID. We have provided logistics companies with 100 people every week for the interview process ever since the lockdown. Before the coronavirus crisis, we are usually supplying them 25 people per week,” he said.

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