Some days I dream of living in the country, a far cry from my current residence one block north of Appleton’s bustling Wisconsin Avenue. During these daydreams, I envision be awoken by only chirping birds, not traffic, and being lulled to sleep by singing crickets, not the revelers congregated in the beer garden at the bar that is essentially in my backyard.
But other days, I wonder how I would survive outside the city limits. Being in town has its advantages, not least of which is my proximity to the Kwik Trip located at the end of my block. I can’t count the times I’ve been in the middle of making pancakes on a Saturday morning only to discover we were out of eggs or milk, but a jog down to Kwik Trip has remedied the problem in less than five minutes.
During one such run, that seem to be happening more frequently these days, the cashier behind the counter mentioned my family isn’t the only one counting on Kwik Trip for those basic grocery items. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, which was officially deemed as such by The World Health Organization on March 11, the store has seen an increase in customers, sales and job applications from laid-off workers.
When one door closes, another one opens – or at least that’s the optimistic way of looking at things during times like these. Amid the widespread shuttering of restaurants, retailers and other businesses deemed “non-essential,” some industries are experiencing record-breaking sales and increased customer demand.
Among those are grocery and convenience stores, like La Crosse-based chain Kwik Trip which employs more than 25,000 people at 600 locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. There are two dozen Kwik Trip stores located in the Fox Cities alone.
Due to state mandates, Kwik Trip has temporarily discontinued its self-serve coffee, fountain sodas, roller grill items, bakery and soup, but continues being a neighborhood go-to source of fresh produce, take home meals and other necessities.
Head of Public Relations Steve Wrobel says Kwik Trip stores are seeing increased demand for grocery staples such as milk, bread and eggs as many large grocers are struggling to keep their shelves stocked.
“The Department of Homeland Security has identified critical businesses, and convenience stores like ours are among those,” Wrobel says. “We certainly don’t match the level of importance as healthcare providers, however, people still do need groceries, and with our heavy emphasis on foods, we are certainly fitting that.”
All of this has led to greater staffing needs. Although Kwik Trip’s open interview day scheduled for March 18 was postponed, Recruiting Manager Stephanie Cormican says the company is looking to hire immediately to meet increased customer demand.
“We are looking to hire at least 2,000 co-workers as quickly as we can to help our stores, production facilities and distribution and transportation divisions keep up with the high demand for our products and services,” Cormican said in a statement.
While some industries have been particularly hard hit, like restaurants and other service providers, Cormican says the increased demand at Kwik Trip stores provides new employment opportunities.
“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.”
Kwik Trip is looking for full and part-time employees. Online job fairs are available for those who are interested. To apply for a job at Kwik Trip, or for more information regarding online job fairs, visit kwiktrip.jobs.