British supermarket group Sainsbury's will recruit 22,000 temporary workers for Christmas, a 22% increase on last year as it boosts its labour force earlier in the season than usual.
The group, which is Britain's second largest grocer after Tesco, said its supermarket chain will recruit 20,000, while its Argos general merchandise business will take on 2,000. Last year it recruited 18,000.
'Sainsbury’s will welcome temporary colleagues earlier than usual this year, starting as early as this week,' it said in a statement.
'This will ensure there are plenty of colleagues ready to help and serve customers, whether they like to plan ahead or leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute.'
Sainsbury's said it had improved staff perks for the festive season, with an increased staff discount offer and free food during shifts.
Market researcher Kantar said on Tuesday that Britain's unusually warm September and early October had delayed early sales of Christmas food.
The joint warmest September on record boosted sales of traditional summer favourites, with volume sales of ice cream, burgers and dips up by 27%, 19% and 10%, respectively.
Earlier this week, Amazon UK said it had started recruiting for more than 15,000 seasonal roles, while last week supermarket groups Morrisons and Aldi said they were hiring 3,500 and 3,000 extra staff respectively for the Christmas season.
In September, US retailer Target announced plans to hire nearly 100,000 employees for the holiday season, like past two years, and offer discounts for the competitive shopping period as early as October.
The variety retailer lowered its full-year sales and profit expectations and forecast a dour third quarter.