Go shopping at Italian supermarket to win a job

Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:30am EDT
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

CASSANO MAGNAGO, Italy (Reuters Life!) - A supermarket chain in the wealthy northern Italian area of Varese is offering the ultimate lottery prize in a time of crisis -- a job for a year.

Grocery chain Tigros, which has more than 50 shops, has been running a lottery for customers spending at least 30 euros ($43.71) in their purchases, putting up 10 jobs as the big prizes.

Shoppers have been casting tickets in boxes in the stores in the past month and the winners will be picked on Thursday.

"It is aimed at everyone. At a time of major crisis, Tigros wanted to do this," Tigros Sales Director Fabio Prandini told Reuters at the company's store in Cassano Magnago. "Tigros this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary ... in light of this we want Tigros to link its activities with the customer."

At a time when Italy's jobless rate climbed 7.4 percent in the second quarter -- its highest level since 2005 -- the scheme is a welcome initiative.

The country's unemployment rate will increase to 8.5 percent this year versus 6.7 percent in 2008, before rising further to 8.8 percent in 2010, the Treasury said in a report last week.

Italians are known for holding on to jobs for life and firing workers is usually more costly than elsewhere.

"For people who are at home at the moment, it is a great possibility for work," shopper Serena Moneta said, as she casted her own tickets into the lottery box.   Continued...