Coronavirus Update: Target Increases Pay, Provides Bonuses; Asda To Bring Over 5,000 Workers Onboard


The coronavirus is changing retail compensation, operations, logistics and hiring. Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus focusing on retail.

Target is providing bonuses to thousands of workers and bolstering staff wages by $2 each hour for a time amid a rise in commerce over the COVID-19 situation, CNBC reported. The company is providing hourly team leaders who supervise store departments with bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,500. Workers at stores, as well as distribution centers, will receive a rise in payment up to May 2 at a minimum.

And, as the vertical encounters a rise in customer service demand because of COVID-19 fears, the consumer bank of Bank of America Corp. has brought 1,700 individuals on board to important support roles in March to date, Reuters reported. The bank has made known multiple relief measures for consumers as well as small businesses such as deferred credit card payments. Banks have faced pressure to keep important infrastructure such as automated teller machines (ATMs) open for commerce.

On another note, Zara owner Inditex could possibly lay off all 25,000 store workers for a time in Spain if the nation’s state of emergency continues after April 15, Reuters reported. Spain called a state of emergency for 15 days to combat the coronavirus and mandated that restaurants, bars and most stores shutter. Most the firm’s administration workers are telecommuting, and fewer logistics staffers are working each shift to enable distance between them.

In other news, U.K. grocer retailer Asda intends to bring on board over 5,000 temporary staffers to assist it in making it through the coronavirus situation, Reuters reported. Lidl GB, for its part, is reportedly seeking as many as 2,500 more temporary workers, and Morrisons reportedly intends to make 3,500 new positions. The grocery industry in Britain has been impacted by demand that has not been seen before as consumers who are worried about a lengthy time of time away from others build a cache of items.

On another note, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an unexpected boon for some cannabis shops domestically, the Associated Press reported. Retail outlets have been fast to meet the needs of clients worried about the coronavirus, as they bolster pickup and delivery options. One chief executive purchased multiple Priuses to stay on top of demand by getting more delivery vehicles out into the world, while one delivery marketplace reported that order volume surged by just under 40 percent on Monday.

In other news, Waymo is now halting all self-driving services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports. The firm, which is owned by Alphabet, had already suspended operation of its self-driving fleet with drivers in the vehicles. The vehicles that don’t have drivers are used in an experimental program in Phoenix for ridesharing customers in addition to local delivery offerings.

And, in an effort to decelerate the COVID-19 pandemic through the promotion of social distancing, Ola is halting its Ola Share pool ride service in India for a time, according to reports. A spokesperson said per reports, “In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the ‘Ola Share’ category until further notice.” The company has operations in multiple nations such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

On another note, Uber Taxi halted its Saudi Arabia operations until a later time when notice is given because of steps made known by the government, Reuters reported. A spokesperson for the ridesharing company said in the report, “As per the measures announced by the Ministry of Interior, we are suspending Uber Taxi in the Kingdom until further notice.” The country had halted taxi services as a way to stop COVID-19 from proliferating.

And, as demand for ridesharing plunged amid COVID-19’s fast spread in the United States, Lyft Inc. notified drivers that they could opt-in to government, grocery and healthcare delivery services, Reuters reported. Drivers throughout the nation communicating with the news outlet this week reported that income has fallen over 70 percent. Logan Green and John Zimmer, the platform’s co-founders, said per the report in a message to drivers that “those who would like to help neighbors get to grocery stores, workers to hospitals and caretakers to their jobs” can become a part of a new “LyftUp Driver Task Force.”



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.