TESCO will create 16,000 new permanent jobs after lockdown led to “exceptional growth” in its online business.
The new posts will include 10,000 staff to pick customer orders from shelves and 3,000 delivery drivers.
The recruitment drive reflects the shift to online shopping, which was accelerated by lockdown.
Tesco said it expected many of the roles to go to staff who joined them on a temporary basis at the start of the pandemic.
Supermarkets scrambled to meet a surge in demand for online deliveries while the UK was in lockdown.
Tesco said online customer numbers had risen from around 600,000 at the start of the pandemic, to nearly 1.5 million.
Before the pandemic, around 9% of Tesco’s sales were online. Now, online sales amount to 16% of sales, and are expected to be worth over £5.5bn this year, the company said.
“The crisis has seen a dramatic increase in the size of the online grocery market in the UK,” said Clive Black, retail analyst at Shore Capital.
“It does not look like, and Tesco UK does not seem to think, it is going to revert back to the pre-coronavirus levels.”
Tesco UK & Ireland’s chief executive Jason Tarry said: “These new roles will help us continue to meet online demand for the long term.”