Sainsbury's told 150 head-office staff that their jobs will be sent to Coventry and Manchester as it looks to sell its London headquarters in Holborn Circus.
The supermarket giant, which has 150,000 staff in the UK, also plans to close its final-salary pension scheme. It has launched a two-month consultation on pension changes.
Sainsbury's said it would still retain a "base" in London and is looking to lease the top two floors of 33 Holborn, relocating HR and property out of the capital. IT is also expected to move.
A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "The relocations have been designed to move the right people to the right place, whether that's to enable growth, to move closer to similar functions or because of a changing business need."
The retailer has 3,000 employees in Holborn, and a spokesman said staff affected were not being made redundant. But an insider said: "Those not wishing to move will have to reapply for any remaining jobs here."
Sainsbury's told staff the change was to enable renting out the top two floors of their office but the entire building has been advertised online as available for rent from 2014.
An attempt to cut costs by moving to cheaper offices in King's Cross was abandoned two years ago after Sainsbury's failed to find new tenants for the Holborn site. Its lease there is due to expire in 2025.