A spokeswoman for the supermarket chain told FoodManufacture.co.uk the plans were part of ceo Mike Coupe’s strategy to cut £500M of costs out of the business, announced at the end of last year.
“Sainsbury has detailed some of the steps it will take to achieve the £500M in cost savings promised in its strategic review published on November 12,” the retailer said in a statement.
“These savings, which will be made over the coming three years, will help fund future investments in areas which really matter to customers.”
After a review by each member of Sainsbury’s operating board, the company said it was proposing to streamline its central divisions, bringing supermarkets and convenience store businesses together.
Some functions would be losing colleagues and others would be taking more on, resulting in a net loss of 500 roles, spread across all divisions and grades in its store support centres, it said.
‘Period of uncertainty’
In a letter to staff issued yesterday (January 13), Coupe said: “We want to work through this period of uncertainty as quickly as possible, while making sure we consult with colleagues who are affected by these changes. We’re committed to treating all impacted colleagues with respect, during what we know will be a difficult time.
“I recognise that these changes will be difficult for our colleagues and I can assure you the decision to make them was not taken lightly. However, I’m certain that we will be in a stronger position to deliver our new strategy and better equipped to win in these times of change as a result.
“The formal consultation started today. We expect the new structures to be in place by the start of the 2015/16 financial year and as a result, we will be set up to work more effectively together to better serve our customers.”