Sainsbury’s to cut 3,500 jobs
Sainsbury’s has announced plans to cut 3,500 jobs with the losses coming mainly from its Argos chain.
In its half year results statement, the retailer said it will be shuttering around 420 standalone Argos stores by March 2024, although it plans to open 150 new Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and add 150 to 200 more collection points. It will also be closing its in-store fish, meat and deli counters due to reduced customer demand.
The closures mean that the retailer will be left with around 100 standalone Argos stores by the time it has completed its restructuring programme.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “Over the next three years we will make Argos a simpler, more efficient and more profitable business while still offering customers great convenience and value and improving availability. We will also make Habitat more widely available in Sainsbury’s and Argos, giving customers access to stylish home and furniture products at more affordable prices.
“We are talking to colleagues today about where the changes we are announcing in Argos standalone stores and food counters impact their roles. We will work really hard to find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible and expect to be able to offer alternative roles for the majority of impacted colleagues.”
In the 28 weeks to 19 September, Sainsbury’s recorded a pre-tax loss of £137 million after incurring £438 million of one-off costs relating to Argos store closures and a range strategic and market changes.
The retailer’s total retail sales, excluding fuel, climbed by 7.1% while like-for-like sales rose by 6.9%.
Looking ahead, Roberts said: “We are raising our ambitions. By delivering improvements in value and quality and simplifying this business, we will do a better job for our customers and deliver an improved financial performance and stronger shareholder returns.
“Right here and now I and all the team are focused on supporting and delivering for our customers in the days and weeks ahead.”
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