Asda has entered into consultation with more than 260 employees amid plans to shutter one of its fulfilment centres.
The supermarket giant is closing its Enfield Home Shopping Centre in North London, which opened only eight years ago.
The warehouse delivers online grocery orders to 4,500 customers each week, but Asda said restrictions on the site meant it was “not able to make the necessary further improvements to meet the speed of fulfilment and product ranges that our customers now expect”.
As a result, 261 roles are set to be scrapped. But Asda said it would seek to redeploy affected workers and only make redundancies “as a last resort”.
The decision comes after Asda invested heavily in opening two fully automated fulfilment centres in London during the past 18 months.
It launched a facility in Heston in July 2017 and a second hi-tech site in Dartford two months ago.
Asda said the two warehouses had created more than 700 new jobs and increased its capacity, driven improvements in order accuracy and decreased fulfilment times.
The Walmart-owned grocer, which is in the process of merging with big four rival Sainsbury’s, is ploughing investment into improving its online business.
In its last quarter, online grocery sales grew 8.3% as the strategy began to bear fruit.
Asda’s vice-president of grocery home shopping Simon Gregg said: “In a competitive retail market, where customers rightly expect great value and ease of service, we are always looking at how we can improve our operations to meet their expectations.
“Despite great efforts by our colleagues at Enfield, restrictions on the site mean we are not able to make the necessary further improvements to meet the speed of fulfilment and product ranges that our customers now expect.
“Therefore, we’ve entered a consultation process with colleagues on proposals to close the facility.”
Gregg added that Asda would seek to redeploy impacted staff at its Heston fulfilment centre or in nearby stores.
He said: “While conversations about change are never easy, we would always work to find new opportunities for impacted colleagues, with redundancy as a last resort.”