Sainsbury’s to axe 1,500 roles under new cost-saving strategy

Sainsbury’s has announced plans to cut around 1,500 roles as part of a new cost-saving strategy.

Under the supermarket’s save and invest to win programme, the plans – which remain subject to consultation – involve simplifying the structure of its store support centre, creating more efficient contact centre operations, consolidating its general merchandise fulfilment network, and improving its bakery offering and availability in certain stores.

The retailer said that changes to its distribution network would involve further investment in technology and automation, meaning it would require fewer local fulfilment centres.

Sainsbury’s has also told employees based at its Widnes contact centre that the service will now be run through an existing third-party partner.

It said that the "vast majority" of those working at the centre would be transferred to its service partner.

Additionally, the company is looking at a simplified structure for teams based at its store support centre.

The plans will also see the acceleration of a programme Sainsbury’s has already started to move towards a more efficient way of freshly baking goods in-store in an effort to provide customers with improved products and availability.

“As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult, but necessary decisions,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts. “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.”

Roberts went on to acknowledge that the news was “unsettling” for affected employees and noted that, where possible, existing colleagues would be redeployed.

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