Sainsbury’s poised to cut 1,000 jobs in costs drive

Sainsbury’s is expected to axe more than 1,000 central office jobs as part of a £500m cost-cutting initiative.

Sainsbury’s has drafted in consultants from McKinsey to devise a staff reduction plan, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The exact number of job losses is expected to be announced next month.

The grocer has 3,000 staff other than those in stores, including at its Holborn head office in London.

Sainsbury’s also has a human resources centre in Manchester, IT staff in Walsgrave, Coventry, and a banking business in ­Edinburgh.

The job losses would be the latest to hit grocery retail as supermarkets adapt to shopping shifts.

In March, Sainsbury’s said it was cutting 400 jobs, and another 4,000 employees faced changes to working hours as night shift arrangements were modified at 140 stores.

Sainsbury’s said then that the changes were needed to avoid price rises following the fall in the value of sterling.

Two years ago, 800 store jobs went as part of a three-year plan to reduce costs by £500m. In November last year Sainsbury’s unveiled a further £500m three-year cost-saving target following its acquisition of Argos.

There have been similar job trends at the other big grocers, with Tesco revealing in June that it was axing 1,200 head office jobs.

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said Sainsbury’s plans were “part of a structural shift happening across the industry to reduce operating costs.”

Sources told the Telegraph that Sainsbury’s was looking at its HR and learning and development teams as it seeks to reduce jobs and become more efficient.

Sainsbury’s employs 51,000 full-time and 130,000 part-time staff and spent £2.5bn on wages last year.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on speculation and would always make any announcement around jobs to our colleagues first.”

The developments at Sainsbury’s came as the retail employment landscape shifts.

Last week the BRC reported that the number of full-time equvalent jobs in the industry declined by 3.3% in the most recent quarter studied. The number of retail jobs may fall by as many as 900,000 by 2025 as business needs change.

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