NATIONAL REPORT — Many businesses across the United States have hit the pause button as the country deals with the rise of COVID-19 cases. However, convenience stores remain open for business and are looking to add to its employee count as the channel navigates the new normal.
Among those c-store retail chains hiring more employees are GPM Investments LLC, Kwik Trip Inc., Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, 7-Eleven Inc. and Thorntons LLC.
Richmond, Va.-based GPM, which operates and supplies convenience stores in 23 states, plans to hire 5,000 associates for its locations. The chain explained it hopes to provide critical employment opportunities for those in local communities who may have recently lost their income as a result of a temporary closure.
"We are an essential business which will remain open in order to assist our communities, customers and associates," said CEO Arie Kotler. "We operate in a number of small towns and we recognize many people may be out of work. We realize this is a difficult time, but want to assure people who live in the communities where we operate that we intend to continue operations and can provide employment opportunities for those who have lost their income as a result of the pandemic.
"We are here to serve our customers and together, we are working hard to ensure that our friends and families in the communities we serve have the essential items they need to care for their families," he added. "I continue to be amazed at the dedication and fortitude of our associates as we navigate this crisis and hope to add many others in need to our team."
GPM will be offering incentives to team members that can be used to obtain food, fuel and other essential items. "We continue to evaluate and do what we can to support our existing and new team members," said Veronica Donchez, GPM's senior vice president of human resources.
Kwik Trip plans to hire at least 2,000 workers to help its c-stores, production facilities, and distribution and transportation divisions keep up with the high demand, Stephanie Cormican, recruiting manager, for the La Crosse, Wis.-based retailer told News 8.
"In addition to year-round and seasonal positions, we understand that individuals may have been displaced due to COVID-19 and are looking for work temporarily until they are able to return to their current employment," she said. "The increased volume we are experiencing right now provides an opportunity for those individuals to earn income during this time."
Openings are for full- and part-time jobs, with online job fairs available. The company has more than 600 Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is looking to add to its rosters at its 510-plus locations across 41 states, as well as its corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City.
"Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government recognized truck stops as an essential business in the fight against the virus. Dedicated team members are needed to help keep goods moving through important corridors and across the nation," the company said.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven expects as many as 20,000 new store employees to be hired by 7-Eleven Inc. or by independent 7-Eleven franchised business owners in the near future to meet increased demand for 7-Eleven products and services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to President and CEO Joe DePinto, the move will provide job opportunities and ensure 7-Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock.
The retailer also anticipates the store employee position would meet a surge in mobile orders through its 7NOW delivery app. Store employees would fulfill 7NOW delivery orders that include grocery staples like milk and bread, over-the-counter medicine, and a range of food and beverage options.
"Locally owned and operated 7-Eleven stores are really going above and beyond to serve their communities," he said. "I'd like to thank 7-Eleven Franchisees and corporate store employees for everything they are doing to provide necessary products and services to customers in need."
7‑Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
In Louisville, Ky., Thorntons is hiring part-time temporary contingent workers at all of its 200 locations. According to the retailer, contingent workers are part-time temporary team members who will clean, stock shelves and coolers, maintain store standards, assist with other non-register activities and help to create a safe, clean and friendly environment for on-the-go guests.
Part-time temporary schedules are less than 30 hours per week for a defined period of time. Candidates must be 18 years of age or older.
"During these uncertain times, Thorntons is committed to caring for our communities and our people," said Chief Legal & People Officer Shelly Gibson. "Our teams are working hard to keep our stores safe and operational and we need extra help to continue to provide great guest service. At the same time, many people in the communities we serve now face unforeseen circumstances and challenges. We are proud to offer these jobs to help displaced workers supplement their incomes and care for their families."