The John Lewis Partnership has revealed plans to recruit more than 7,000 temporary roles across the country this Christmas.
Bosses 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.
The hires will be spread across its supermarkets, department stores and fulfilment centres, including delivery drivers for its online grocery division.
Bosses also revealed they will recruit 550 permanent full-time driver and warehouse workers across distribution centres and Waitrose.com and John Lewis.com customer delivery sites.
The company added that new staff – or 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 Black Friday.