Sainsbury's to cut 500 jobs

The supermarket chain is streamlining its central operations

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The Independent Online

Sainsbury’s has announced it will cut 500 jobs – in a move that comes as part of  the latest round of money-saving measures in the supermarket industry.

The chain said the losses, which will be spread across all divisions and grades in its store support centres, are required because it is streamlining its central operations. The streamlining will combine the company's supermarkets and convenience store businesses.

The steps form part of the £500 million in cost savings outlined by the retailer in a strategic review published in November.

It has already announced plans to mothball a number of schemes in its property pipeline and intends to reduce the amount of money spent on new space over the next three years.

In a letter to staff, chief executive Mike Coupe said: "We want to work through this period of uncertainty as quickly as possible, while making sure we consult with colleagues who are affected by these changes.

"We're committed to treating all impacted colleagues with respect, during what we know will be a difficult time.

"I recognise that these changes will be difficult for our colleagues and I can assure you the decision to make them was not taken lightly. However, I'm certain that we will be in a stronger position to deliver our new strategy and better equipped to win in these times of change as a result."

Last week rival Tesco announced that it is to close 43 stores – despite reporting better-than-expected Christmas sales.

New chief executive Dave Lewis revealed the plans as part of his shake-up of the supermarket chain. The move is set to leave staff fearing for their jobs, but Mr Lewis would not give any guidance on the scale of the jobs to be lost or whether they were likely to be in the thousands.

Tesco will also abandon its headquarters in Cheshunt in 2016 after more than 40 years, and 49 stores in the pipeline are being cancelled.

Additional reporting by Press Association