Sainsbury’s revelation that it is axing 2,000 roles as it restructures its human resources team represents a painful but necessary move.

The retailer, like everyone else operating in the fiercely competitive industry, has to seek ways to cut costs, maintain margins and sustain profits.

Tesco, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Morrisons and B&Q have made similar moves in the past couple of years as businesses grapple with the changing landscape and a swathe of cost headwinds – and, unfortunately, there will be more job losses to come.

The pace of change within retail workforces has been rapid – and it could yet be exacerbated if a hike in business rates piles on further costs.

September’s retail prices index (RPI), against which business rates will be set, hit 4%. That’s an increase that would hit retailers hard.

It’s no wonder then that the British Retail Consortium has come out fighting, warning of the “severe” consequences it could spell for retailers and urging the Government to step in and freeze business rates.

Elsewhere today, Tapi posted widening losses and Zalando unveiled its plans to enter the beauty market.

Quote of the day

“For many shops this may be the last straw. Across the country, especially in economically deprived and vulnerable communities, the cost of failing to take action will likely be seen in yet more empty shops and gap-toothed high streets”

– British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson warns that a hike in business rates would leave retailers “struggling to survive”.

Today in numbers


The pre-tax loss racked up by Tapi in the year December 31, 2016.


Zalando’s estimated third-quarter revenue.

Tomorrow’s agenda

Wickes owner Travis Perkins updates the market with details of its third-quarter trading performance and the Office for National Statistics reveals its retail sales figures for September.

Luke Tugby, head of content