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Safeway, Raley's each 'mass hiring' in California amid coronavirus crisis

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Northern California supermarket chain Raley’s is mass hiring for personal shoppers at many of its locations, as millions of Californians are limiting exposure to the public due to the rapidly developing coronavirus crisis.

Safeway also announced a surge of hiring for in-store employees and delivery drivers at its Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii stores. The supermarket chain, a subsidiary of Albertsons, in a news release Monday said it has more than 2,000 immediate openings across more than 280 Safeway, Adronico’s, Vons and Pak ‘N Save locations in those three states. Those interested can apply online or in person at their local store, the news release said.

In postings to the Raley’s website and on LinkedIn, the company says it is looking to quickly hire members to its “eCart” teams at 18 locations in California and two in Reno, Nevada. Raley’s intends to fill the positions within a week or less, the job listings say.

Raley’s eCart is a service in which shoppers place their orders online, employees assemble those orders into a cart and the cart is brought to a section of the parking lot for pickup.

“If your income has been impacted due to current events or if you’re looking for part time work, Raley’s has opportunities for you to earn an income and serve our communities,” the listing reads.

The Raley’s job posting alludes to, but does not specifically mention, the coronavirus pandemic, which has strained supermarkets, grocery markets and warehouse stores across the U.S. with immense demand as shoppers stock up on food and supplies.

“We are extremely low on supplies, and fulfilling your orders to the best of our ability,” read a note provided by staff Monday morning at the Gold River Bel Air store, a Raley’s brand supermarket. “There will be replacements when possible, but there will be items that are out of stock.”

A COVID-19 updates page on the Raley’s website expands on the supply issues: “We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure the availability of high-demand items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, anti-bacterial hand soap and cleaning supplies. Manufacturers of these highly sought-after products have been moved to an allocation model of distribution, so supplies are limited.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent directive for restaurants statewide to cut their capacities in half and for all bars and nightclubs to close is likely to increase demand at supermarkets even more.

Newsom also on Sunday asked all Californians age 65 or older to voluntarily self-isolate.

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