Woolworths is creating 20,000 new jobs to meet a surge in demand but the list of Australian companies shutting their doors and standing down staff continues to grow.
Woolies on Friday said it has placed about 3000 of its stood-down ALH Group team members in new roles across its BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Woolworths supermarkets and is preparing to offer up to 5000 short-term roles to Qantas employees taking leave without pay.
The hiring comes as Australians continue panic buying at supermarkets, leaving some aisles empty.
Woolies on Tuesday stood down 8000 workers following the Federal Government ban on pubs, clubs and hotels and postponed the separation and spin-off of its Endeavour division until 2021.
Meanwhile, clothing chain Kathmandu will today join those retailers temporarily closing stores in Australia due to fewer people shopping.
Kathmandu has about 170 stores in Australia and NZ, and more than 100 Rip Curl stores.
It is understood about 2000 Australian store and head office staff, with the exception of a skeleton crew, will be stood down without pay for four weeks.
Kathmandu had already closed stores in regions including Brazil, Europe, New Zealand and North America.
The board has suspended dividend payments to shareholders.
The Kathmandu workers join a growing number of Australians stood down from their jobs without pay.
On Thursday, Premier Investments — which owns the Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Portmans and Just Jeans stores — stood down 9000 workers around the world.
Jewellery chain Lovisa and Athlete’s Foot owner Accent Group on the same day temporarily closed 400 stores and 500 stores respectively.
Accent, which also owns the Platypus and Hype shoe chains, will stand down a reported 5000 staff.
Mosaic Brands — the owner of Noni B, Rivers and Katies — said it will stand down 6800 employees across 1300 stores while Michael Hill Jewellers earlier this week announced it would shut 300 stores, including 165 in Australia.
The travel industry has suspended larger numbers of workers.
Qantas has stood down 20,000 of its 30,000 workers, and Virgin Australia has done the same for 8000 workers.
Flight Centre says an initial 6000 of its global sales and support staff globally will either be stood down or made redundant in the company’s latest bid to preserve a future.