Tom Thumb plans to permanently lay off 97 drivers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and shift to third-party delivery services as its online grocery business continues to grow.
“Our company has made the strategic decision to discontinue using our own home delivery fleet of trucks in several divisions,” including North Texas, said Christy Lara, spokeswoman for the Tom Thumb and Albertsons supermarket chains in Dallas. “We will transition that portion of our e-commerce operations to third-party logistics providers who specialize in that service.”
Tom Thumb, which is owned by Albertsons Cos., said the job cuts are coming around the end of February. Between 10 and 17 employees per store will be laid off at Tom Thumbs in Arlington, Dallas, Coppell, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie and Plano.
Those stores are hubs for online orders for delivery from tomthumb.com and albertsons.com. Store employees will continue to shop and pack orders for delivery. Curbside orders are also processed by Tom Thumb and Albertsons employees at stores selected by customers.
The delivery services may not always be from the same outside company; that’s still being determined, Lara said.
The decision “will help us create a more efficient operation,” she said, but it was a difficult one because “our team has done a great job providing a convenient and welcoming e-commerce shopping experience.”
Laid-off workers will be able to apply for other jobs at Tom Thumb stores, plants and distribution centers, she said. “We appreciate everything they have done to serve our customers and grow our business.”
Tom Thumb and Albertsons are also shoppable online through Instacart, and that won’t change.
“This decision will allow us to compete in the growing home delivery market more effectively,” Lara said. “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our e-commerce business has risen to new heights and has become more strategically important to Albertsons and Tom Thumb.”
Albertsons Cos. said in October that digital sales were up 243% in its quarter that ended in September.
“Our goal is to capitalize on that momentum and truly make e-commerce a competitive advantage,” Lara said.
Food retailers have increased staffing and built up their delivery and curbside pickup capabilities for much of this year as supermarkets have been essential for people staying close to home since the pandemic took hold in March. More cooking at home has meant more spending at the supermarket.
These are the Tom Thumb stores with staff cuts coming:
2755 N. Collins St., Arlington: 16 jobs
106 N. Denton Tap Road, Coppell: 10 jobs
5809 E. Lovers Lane, Dallas: 17 jobs
3100 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth: 11 jobs
2535 Firewheel Pkwy., Garland: 10 jobs
4215 S. Carrier Pkwy., Grand Prairie: 16 jobs
7801 Alma Drive, Plano: 17 jobs
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