Sainsbury’s is to cut 800 jobs in its stores as part of plans to save £500m over the next three years.
The supermarket, which axed 500 head office jobs in January, said it would be cutting department and deputy manager positions in some stores. It is also replacing night shifts with early morning and evening shifts in some stores in a bid to improve availability of products for its customers.
Roger Burnley, retail and operations director said: “These are exceptionally difficult decisions to make and we have not taken them lightly ... We set out very clearly last year that we have to reflect the changes in when and how our customers are shopping. These proposals will help us maintain and improve customer service by having more colleagues on hand and well-replenished shelves at all times.”
Sainsbury’s move follows similar decisions by Morrisons and Asda, which cut thousands of store management roles last year, while Tesco is finalising thousands more similar job cuts this month. Both Tesco and Morrisons have also added more ordinary shopfloor staff in an attempt to boost service.
Sainsbury’s said it had begun consultation in over 100 supermarkets about changes in the way they are restocked overnight. More than 500 roles will be affected but the company said that many night shift workers could be redeployed to different shifts or moved to nearby stores.
Steve Dresser an analyst at Grocery Insight said the job cuts were a recognition of lower volumes and sales for the major supermarkets. “There isn’t a need for the overnight operation in a quiet store. Not when there is a cheaper way to operate that won’t be noticed by customers,” he said. “It’s another sign that the industry is changing and a by-product of volume shifting to the discounters and indeed, online stores.”
This article was written by Sarah Butler, for theguardian.com on Thursday 23rd April 2015 11.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010