Large supermarkets struggle with serious shortage of staff

Large supermarkets in the Czech Republic are struggling with a serious shortage of employees, caused by record low unemployment. According to the website Novinky.cz, a lack of employees has forced the British supermarket chain Tesco to cut opening hours in its Czech stores.

Photo: Kristýna MakováPhoto: Kristýna Maková “I can confirm that we will restrict opening hours in selected stores. The step was made for operational reasons,” Tesco spokesman Václav Koukolíček told the website Novinky.cz.

Many Tesco stores, which are now open until midnight, will close at 10 p.m. in the future. “There are not many customers shopping at this time of day. We also wanted to enable our employees to get home earlier,” Mr. Koukoulíček added.

One of the supermarket chains that has not been affected by an outflow of workers is the German retail chain Lidl, which is said to be the highest-paying supermarket chain in the Czech Republic. In March, Lidl increased the average monthly pay to 28,000 crowns. The starting salary in Prague is over 29,000 crowns.

“After raising wages in March we recorded an increased interest in working in our company and this interest still continues. This is why we rarely have to struggle with a shortage of employees,” Lidl spokeswoman Zuzana Holá told the website Novinky.cz.

Tesco announced a 17 percent wage increase in December but refused to publish its employee’s salaries. Lidl is the only chain in the country which makes its wages public.