Sainsbury to axe 800 jobs and save £500M

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Sainsbury will cut 800 management and deputy management roles
Sainsbury will cut 800 management and deputy management roles

Related tags Customer Customer service Sainsbury

Sainsbury will cut 800 jobs in a store-management restructure to save £500M over the next three years.

Department and deputy manager positions would be reviewed and more resources would be invested in shopfloor roles, according to the retailer, which reported a half-year pre-tax loss of £290M earlier this year.

The announcement follows similar plans revealed by Morrisons' ceo David Potts earlier this month.

Reducing the number of department manager roles would give shop floor staff the opportunity to work more hours or take on additional shifts, Sainsbury said.

“This means more customer-facing colleagues will be on hand to offer service, with the right leadership and structures in place,” ​it added.                                                                                    

Consultation has also begun in more than 100 stores on the way products are restocked, according to the retailer.

Redeployment options

This would follow changes made in 33 stores last year, which replaced night shift workers with early morning and evening shift workers. Staff currently working on night shifts would have redeployment options, Sainsbury said.

Roger Burnley, retail and operations director, said: “These are exceptionally difficult decisions to make and we have not taken them lightly.

“I recognise that this will be a challenging time for many of our colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them and help them move through this period of uncertainty.

500 job losses

Sainsbury announced 500 job cuts​ among its store support staff, who work at centres in London, Manchester and Coventry, in January this year.
The losses formed part of Sainsbury ceo Mike Coupe's plans to cut £500M of costs from the business.
An announcement made by Sainsbury today (April 23), brought the total number of job losses to 1,300.

The shake-up would follow the company’s announcement last year to reflect on the dramatic changes within the industry, following Aldi’s and Lidl’s increased market share, Burnley said.

Improved customer service, as well as major savings, would be achieved through the changes, he added.

“The formal consultation starts today and, where possible, we hope colleagues will opt to move to other roles or stores,” ​said Burnley.

“We expect the new structures to be in place later this year and, as a result, we will be able to set up work more effectively together to better serve our customers.”

Latest of the big four

Sainsbury is the latest of the big four to make changes to its store teams.

Morrisons' Potts announced he would cut more than 700 roles​ at its Bradford-based headquarters, while hiring 5,000 new staff for in-store roles.

As with Sainsbury's plans, new shopfloor staff roles at Morrisons would aim to boost customer service by making staff more available to help shoppers and opening more checkouts.

Potts said: "We are focusing on the things that matter to our customers. That means having more of our staff in our stores, improving product availability and helping customers at checkouts. We believe our customers and our staff will appreciate the improvements."

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