Sainsbury's begins major restructure putting 1,150 jobs at risk

Around 1,150 jobs are at risk at Sainsbury’s as part of a restructuring which will cut about 500 head-office roles across the country, the company has announced.

An online fulfilment centre in Bromley-by-Bow will also be closed in June affecting 650 jobs, although the supermarket said it hopes to redeploy most of the staff 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 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.’

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

It comes after fellow supermarket giant Asda announced a similar move that would put 3,000 jobs at risk.

Asda said last week its change was being driven by the ‘structural shift’ towards online shopping for food during the pandemic.

The company said around 4,500 jobs will be created in its online operations this year and it will look to hire staff affected by the restructuring.

Supermarkets have stayed open throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Today the four biggest companies – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – said they would forgo business rates relief granted to them in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget statement.

Sunak extended a year-long business rates exemption for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to the end of June to help them get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The supermarkets initially benefited from Sunak’s freeze on rates for 2020-21 but paid it back in December after performing relatively strongly during the pandemic.

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