The company said it has created 15,000 roles at Sainsbury’s, 2,000 at Argos and 1,000 in its logistics division.
It said the new workers will help across Sainsbury’s and Argos stores to keep shelves stocked, pick items and to pack and deliver online orders.
Meanwhile, it is also searching for logistics staff to work at warehouses to support increased demand for products.
It comes amid a festive period which is expected to be particularly busy for the retail sector following two Christmases disrupted by the pandemic.
Bosses said Sainsbury’s and Argos temporary Christmas store colleagues will receive hourly pay of £10.25 and £11.30 in London, which was increased earlier this year.
Angie Risley, group HR director at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are really excited to be able to welcome an additional 18,000 colleagues to our team to ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers this Christmas."
“It is a special time of year but it’s also busy, and with more customers returning to do more of their shopping in-store, this investment in service will ensure customers can find whatever they need to celebrate this year easily and conveniently."
“We know how tough it is for households right now and as well as excellent value for customers we are committed to leading colleague pay."
“Our new higher base rate, colleague discount and free food during shifts ensures colleagues will be well-rewarded for their hard work.”