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 on Thursday.
'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.
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.
At the end of August, Sainsbury's announced that it has cut more prices in a further sign that UK food price inflation will continue its downward trajectory and relieve some of the pressure on consumers.
Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest grocer, said that it had added over 40 products to a scheme that matches the prices of discounter Aldi, taking the total to over 400.
It has also expanded its Nectar Prices loyalty scheme, which offers members lower prices, to frozen foods.
Read More: Sainsbury's Cuts Prices Again