Asda is axing hundreds of staff at its head offices as it ramps up its cost-cutting drive.

The supermarket giant is slashing 300 roles from its central operations across Asda House in Leeds and George House in Leicester.

Retail Week understands its trading and marketing functions will be streamlined as part of the move. Affected colleagues were informed of the changes today.

Asda said the decision was designed to “create an agile business which is fit for the future.”

It comes less than a month after the Walmart-owned grocer placed 3,257 jobs at 18 underperforming stores into consultation.

The eventual number of job losses from that move is expected to be in the hundreds.

‘Ever-changing sector’

News of the latest job cuts emerged as boss Sean Clarke continues his turnaround bid amid stiff competition from discount duo Aldi and Lidl, as well as the resurgent Tesco and Morrisons.

Grocery retailers are facing a battle to keep prices low amid increasing sourcing costs following the fall in the value of the pound in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The introduction of the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and the business rates revaluation have all heaped further cost pressures onto retailers across the UK.

Despite challenging market conditions, Asda posted its first increase in sales for three years last month, posting a 1.8% rise in like-for-likes in the three months to June 30.

It marked a vast improvement from the 7.5% nosedive in the comparable period last year, as Clarke’s focus on cutting prices, driving availability and improving customer service begins to bear fruit.

An Asda spokeswoman said: “In recent years, the competitive landscape in retail has changed significantly and Asda has been no different. Our stores have adapted the way they operate to meet the changing needs of our customers, and our home offices must also adapt how they operate to support our stores.

“Today we are making some significant changes to the way we operate our home offices. As you’d expect, we have discussed the details of these changes with our colleagues first.

“These changes impact around 1,100 roles across Asda House in Leeds and George House in Leicester, and sadly result in around 300 colleagues leaving us.

“At Asda we value each and every one of our colleagues. The changes are in response to the ever-changing sector in which we’re working and the need to adapt to create an agile business which is fit for the future.”