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John Lewis to hire 10,000 temporary workers for Christmas period

People wait for a John Lewis store to open
John Lewis said it will offer free food to all permanent staff and temporary workers from 3 October to 6 January to help with the cost-of-living crisis. Photograph: Reuters/Russell Boyce

John Lewis (JHL.L) is looking to recruit more than 10,000 temporary workers across the country this Christmas to help meet demand over the busy festive period.

This is 3,000 more than it hired in its festive push last year.

The high street retailer, which also owns upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said it is hiring for jobs in both chains, as well as in its distribution network.

Some 2,000 temporary workers will be added across the 34 UK John Lewis stores, while 4,000 will join Waitrose. Another 4,000 roles will be available in the company’s supply chain including warehouse workers and drivers.

It added that it will offer free food to all permanent staff and temporary workers from 3 October to 6 January to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Read more: Food prices rising at fastest rate since 2008 as inflation surges

“We pride ourselves on creating a happy workplace because it's our partners who make the difference and it’s thanks to them that John Lewis and Waitrose are two of the UK’s best-loved brands,” Andrew Murphy, chief operations officer at the John Lewis Partnership, said.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people across the country to grow our team and ensure we deliver a great Christmas for our customers.”

It comes after earlier this year, John Lewis said it will share a £46m ($60.5m) bonus pot after it narrowed losses to £26m last year.

The retail giant, which is employee-owned, paid a bonus of 3% to its employees, or one-and-a-half weeks’ pay.

It also announced it would pay all workers at least the independently verified living wage of £9.90 across the UK, a 2% pay rise.

Read more: UK consumer confidence hits rock bottom as prices soar

John Lewis also said earlier this month that Brits are already buying Christmas trees and baubles, with sales tripling in comparison to last year’s summer. The sudden rise in early Christmas shopping comes as shoppers are expecting further price hikes.

On Wednesday, new data revealed that food prices rose at their fastest rate since 2008 in August as the war in Ukraine raised costs for farmers.

Shop price annual inflation surged to 5.1%, up from 4.4% in July, marking a new record since the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ index started in 2005.

Fresh food prices were 10.5% higher than last August, up from the 8% annual increase recorded in July, with products such as milk and margarine seeing the biggest rises.

Watch: How to save money on a low income