March 23, 2020 Publix and Walmart plan to hire thousands in next few weeks to meet demand fueled by coronavirus
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Florida's two biggest grocers plan to hire thousands of workers throughout Florida and the Southeastern U.S. to meet customer demand during coronavirus outbreak.
Publix Super Markets Inc. and Walmart said they have ramped hiring to meet unprecedented demand. Publix, based in Lakeland, said it will hire "thousands by the end of March" to fill positions in stores and distribution centers. Publix has a seven-state operating area.
Walmart, which made headlines Thursday with plans to hire 150,000 in the U.S. through the end of May. In Florida, the retail giant says it will hire 9,400. Walmart's key hiring areas in Florida include Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Panama City, Orlando, Destin and Gulf Shores.
“We take pride in serving our communities during times of need, and with the unprecedented demand we are experiencing, we’re in need of more associates to help across our operating area,” Marcy Benton, vice president of human resources, said in a statement. “We’re looking for people who have a desire to serve, are passionate about the food industry, are willing to work hard and ready to build a career at Publix.”
Walmart and Publix are ramping up hiring at a time when thousands find themselves suddenly without a job. Restaurants, retailers, hotels and fitness studios have dramatically cut staff and in some cases completely closed down as public health officials urge public distancing. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday closed dine-in service at all Florida restaurants, days after shuttering the state's bars to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.