By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Orders have been surging at Carrefour's physical and online stores as people stock up on supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic
UAE-headquartered Majid Al Futtaim is redeploying more than 1,000 leisure, entertainment and cinema employees on a temporary basis to join the company’s Carrefour business amid heightened demand caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company has announced.
In a statement, Majid Al Futtaim said that 1,015 employees from Vox Cinemas, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and Ski Dubai in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and Lebanon have been assigned to their new roles.
The positions created within the organisation will bolster Carrefour’s operations amid surging demand at both its physical and online stores as people stock up to buy necessary supplies amid increasing restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
“Whilst we are ensuring that our customers get what they need when they need it, we are working with all stakeholder groups to ensure that we come through these challenging times together,” said Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani.
“The employee redeployment programme is a fantastic opportunity for our leisure, entertainment and cinema employees to continue to learn and explore new experiences in other parts of our business during this time,” Bejjani added.
Within Carrefour, the employees have been assigned to a wide range of positions, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, dark stores and fulfilment and distribution centres.
Prior to beginning their new fulfilment duties, redeployed staff must have completed on-the-job training, in addition to health and safety training that Carrefour has mandated as a result of the pandemic.
In a separate interview with Arabian Business, Majid Al Futtaim Retail CEO Hani Weiss said that Carrefour’s online orders have spiked 300 percent year-on-year as a result of people shopping to keep themselves well-stocked at home amid the pandemic.
Weiss added that Carrefour has transformed the majority of its supermarkets and hypermarkets into “mini-fulfillment centres” that cater to orders of all sizes.
“One of the things I’m proudest of is that the team was agile enough to transform 2,000 metres in one of our stores – which wasn’t performing very well – into a fulfillment centre that can cater to 2,000 additional orders,” he said. “We had to do that in less than 5 days.”