Sainsbury's puts 1,100 UK jobs at risk in major restructure

The restructuring will see 500 head-office roles cut under the plans (Photo: Shutterstock)

Around 1,150 jobs at Sainsbury’s are at risk as part of restructuring plans, the company has announced.

The restructuring will see about 500 head-office roles cut at sites across the UK, as the company implements changes to create a “more efficient business” aimed at investing more funds into food.

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Putting food first

Sainsbury’s has said the 500 jobs cuts at head offices will be in sites around the country, including a reduction of one floor at its Manchester office and two floors at its central London Holborn site.

An online fulfilment centre in Bromley-by-Bow will also be closed in June which will affect 650 jobs.

However, the supermarket has said it hopes to redeploy most of the staff affected to neighbouring stores.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said the savings made from the job cuts will be used to reduce prices in stores and invest in more online facilities.

He confirmed the restructuring will impact its commercial operations, human resources, supply chain and logistics, technology and general merchandise and clothing teams.

In a statement, Mr Roberts said: “Our new plan puts food first and will create a simpler, nimbler and more efficient business.

“The money we save will enable us to invest in what customers really care about – lower prices, exciting new products and the most convenient ways for them to shop.

“I know change is difficult but to do the best job we can for our customers, it is vital that we adapt.

“I understand this will be a very difficult time for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can to fully support them.”

Further industry job losses

Sainsbury’s plans to restructure its business follows a similar move from rival supermarket Asda, which announced last week that 3,000 workers in its stores could be at risk of losing their job as it works to strengthen its investment in online sales.

The supermarket said the demand for grocery deliveries has increased since the start of the Covid pandemic last March, and this has driven plans to “transform the business”.

Asda said it had begun consultations with 5,000 of its back office store workers, but it hopes the new business plan will result in no more than 3,000 job losses.

Out of the 3,000 back office store workers set to be affected, staff with cash and administrative roles are expected to be particularly impacted by the firm’s move.

Asda said it plans to close its Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, with around 800 jobs affected, as it looks to move towards more picking operations in stores.

Around 1,100 of its store management roles will be changed in order to support online grocery operations.

However, the firm said it plans to create around 4,500 separate jobs in its online operations this year, and will look to hire staff impacted by the potential cuts.