Sainsbury’s plans to axe around 1,500 jobs in Widnes centre cost-cutting effort

Sainsbury’s has said it will cut around 1,500 roles. Credit: PA Images

Sainsbury’s has said it will cut around 1,500 roles as part of plans that it hopes will cut costs by around £1 billion a year.

The business said that it would cut roles in its contact centre in Widnes, in Cheshire, at its in-store bakeries and a few at local fulfilment centres.

“As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult, but necessary decisions,” Chief Executive Simon Roberts said.

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

The supermarket will reduce its workforce by around 1,500 jobs, subject to consultation.

It said the money it saves will be reinvested into the business to give customers “great value, quality and service.”

Sainsbury’s chief executive officer Simon Roberts Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

At Widnes a “vast majority” of its staff will see their employment move to a different company which Sainsbury’s already works with.

All of Sainsbury’s Careline services will now be run by this external company, Sainsbury’s said.

It also plans to move more of its shops “to a more efficient way of freshly baking products”.

“As a result, the supermarket will be conducting a consultancy process with bakers in these stores.

“Sainsbury’s has reassured affected colleagues that it will find alternative roles for them where possible, as it will for any colleague affected by changes proposed today.”

Investment in technology and automation will also mean that the retailer will need fewer local fulfilment centres. A “very small proportion” of staff will be impacted and could be helped to find new roles where possible.

Mr Roberts said: “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.”

The company, which is the UK’s second-biggest supermarket, said that it would boost the amount of space dedicated to food in its 600 stores.

Sainsbury’s plans also include efforts to attract customers by offering electric car charging points at their stores and increasing offers for loyalty card holders.

It also plans to open another 75 convenience stores on top of the 821 it already runs.