Sainsbury’s is consulting on 1,500 job cuts as it seeks to “save and invest” to provide customers with more “great value, quality and service”.

Sainsbury's Nine Elms fascia prospect 3x2

The cuts follow Sainsbury’s recent ‘Next Level’ strategic update that is designed to power the business forward and affect employees from head office to bakeries.

The grocer, which employs around 150,000 people, revealed its plans to staff earlier today. It said they include “simplifying Sainsbury’s store support centre structure, creating more efficient contact centre operations, consolidating general merchandise fulfilment and improving our bakery offer and availability in some stores”. 

Sainsbury’s said it has put forward a “simpler structure for some teams” at HQ – known as the store support centre – and that “to ensure it has the right expert support to deliver its new strategy and streamline some senior leadership structures, changes have been proposed to teams including retail, transformation, HR, supply chain and logistics”. 

The company also plans to transfer its careline services at Widnes to an existing third-party partner. Most people affected will move, and the partner “offers a range of career and redeployment opportunities”.  

Sainsbury’s will extend “a more efficient way of freshly baking products in-store” to more branches and has started consultation with those affected. It has pledged to find alternative roles for as many people as it can.

In distribution, the retailer is in discussion about “proposals to change how and where it moves stock in some locations”. Sainsbury’s maintained that investment in technology and automation means it will need fewer local fulfilment centres and “the very small proportion of colleagues who are affected are being supported through redeployment to other roles where possible”. Plans for new locations mean that nationally it will have “more sites and create more jobs overall”.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “Our strategy is about giving customers more of what they come to Sainsbury’s for – outstanding value, unbeatable quality food and great service. One of the ways we’re going to deliver on this promise is through our ‘Save and Invest to Win’ programme.  

“As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult but necessary decisions. The proposals we’ve been talking to teams about today are important to ensure we’re better set up to focus on the things that create a real impact for our customers, delivering good food for all of us and building a platform for growth.

“I know today’s news is unsettling for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them.”