Sainsbury’s has begun a restructuring process that will see 500 head office roles cut and a further 650 jobs placed at risk at the company’s online fulfilment centre in east London.
According to the supermarket chain, Simon Roberts, chief executive of the company has told staff about the shakeup which forms part of a strategy that will enable “Sainsbury’s to save money” that will then be invested back into its “core food business”.
Roberts’ plans, which aim to put “food first”, will impact the store’s centre teams in commercial operations, human resources, supply chain and logistics, technology and general merchandise and clothing.
Sainsbury’s has said the reductions will allow the company to “fund lower prices, product innovation and online shopping”.
The group said that it has plans to redeploy most of the colleagues at its online fulfilment centre- which was first launched in 2016 in Bromley-by-Bow as a purpose built unit to support online shopping demand – to its neighbouring London stores to support “expanded online departments”.
Roberts 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.”
He added: “Demonstrating his commitment to improving Sainsbury’s food offer, Roberts also updated colleagues in London on plans to further grow groceries online. By March 2022 over 20 stores in and around the capital will have their online departments expanded, enabling Sainsbury’s to deliver thousands more orders each week.”
The decision by Sainsbury’s follows a similar move by rival chain Asda, who last week announced that it was transforming its business to focus more on online shopping. A move which has placed 5,000 jobs at risk.