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News Article

Retail Companies on Hiring Spree

By Andrea Villar | Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:27

As the COVID-19 crisis escalates in Mexico, supermarkets have become one of the biggest job providers amid the pandemic. While entertainment businesses and even restaurants have been forced to close, the commercial retail industry keeps its doors open.

In recent weeks, supermarket chains have been forced to hiring more checkers and people who work in the administration of supplies. Food and personal hygiene plants are also hiring workers, as well as pharmacies and laboratories that produce medicines. However, these are temporary jobs that will last until the end of the country's health crisis.

As the pandemic progresses and greater mobility restrictions are imposed in the country, panic purchases and demand for workers in essential sectors could increase, as well as in e-commerce. "Companies that are hiring mainly belong to the retail, mass consumption, electronic commerce and logistics sectors associated with e-commerce," said in an interview with the BBC Alberto del Castillo, Director of Service and Quality at Adecco, a company specialized in human resource management.

According to the ZipRecruiter site, the job that has grown the most in demand from January to the end of March is warehouse operator, followed by areas such as cleaning and "shoppers", meaning people who shop for others.

Walmart Mexico, the largest retailer in the country, increased its profits in 1Q20 by 15.4 percent from MX$10 billion (US$420 million), compared to MX$8.7 billion (US$364.3 million) in the same period of 2019. The company also reported 20,500 new hires. Meanwhile, its e-commerce sales grew 68 percent as daily orders doubled requiring 1,700 workers to handle demand. Results reflected a high demand for essential goods due to the crisis unleashed by COVID-19, said Walmart Chief Executive Guilherme Loureiro.

A Change in Direction

Other companies are struggling to keep their workers' jobs and have modified their plants to make products they have never done before, LinkedIn Vice President Jon Addison said in an interview for the BBC. A few weeks ago, the French luxury goods company LVMH began manufacturing products to help fill the medical supply gaps in the country. "In 72 hours, the company went from producing luxury perfume to creating hand sanitizer," Addison said.

In Mexico, Volkswagen and Faurecia, both automobile companies with operations in Puebla, temporarily modified their factories to produce medical supplies, said this week the Minister of Labor and Social Security Luisa María Alcalde.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
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Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst