Sainsbury's: Supermarket giant to slash 1,500 jobs as CEO defends cost-cutting decision for expansion plan

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Hundreds of jobs are set to be cut by one of the UK's largest supermarkets.

Sainsbury's is set to axe 1,500 staff from across the business in what has been described as its "Save and Invest to Win" expansion plan. CEO Simon Roberts unveiled the strategy earlier this month, with the redundancies being the first under his tenure. The business has stores in Albert Road, Palmerston Road, Guildhall Walk, Commercial Road, Fitzherbert Road in Farlington and elsewhere.

Cuts will be made to the company's head office, in-store bakeries, customer service teams and general merchandise supply chain. Mr Roberts told The Grocer that it was a “difficult but necessary” decision is to “simplify” its business and increase availability in stores. The retailer's teams at the Store Support Centre at Sainsbury's HQ are being restructured by removing a layer of management from the retail, transformation, HR, supply and logistics teams. Its contact centre in Widnes - which handles the Careline customer service line - is going to be transferred to a third party. It is expected that the "vast majority" of workers will transfer to the new company.

Sainsbury's is making drastic changes. Picture: Google Street View.Sainsbury's is making drastic changes. Picture: Google Street View.
Sainsbury's is making drastic changes. Picture: Google Street View. | Google Street View

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Sainsbury's has set out what it calls a modernisation programme for its in-store bakeries. The business is consulting with bakers in stores, with some being offered alternative roles if possible. Changes will also take place to the business' general merchandise and supply chains, which started in April 2023. The retailer is looking to invest further in automation and technology, with an unspecified number of its local fulfilment centres being shut down. The supermarket said it would affect a "very small proportion" of workers.

The Grocer said the business wants to shed a further £1bn from its operations over the next three years - on top of £1.3 billion it’s already saved - in order to invest more in technology, Ai and other aspects. Mr Roberts said: "Our Next Level Sainsbury’s strategy is about giving customers more of what they come to Sainsbury’s for – outstanding value, unbeatable quality food and great service.

"One of the ways we’re going to deliver on this promise is through our Save and Invest to Win programme. As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult, but necessary decisions. The proposals we’ve been talking to teams about today are important to ensure we’re better set up to focus on the things that create a real impact for our customers, delivering good food for all of us and building a platform for growth. I know today’s news is unsettling for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can do support them."

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