Asda will cut up to 1,360 jobs in a management restructure as it fights to maintain market share in the face of growing pressure from discounters.
The supermarket chain – owned by US based Walmart – said it would remove back office tasks, put more staff on shop floors and focus more on its online shopping channel.
The cuts will help create more flexible management structures across Asda’s 578 UK stores and will create 5,670 new roles. Asda said those affected would “either begin training for their new jobs or take a redundancy package.”
Andy Clarke, Asda’s chief executive, called it “one of the most difficult decisions” he had made.
He said: “Every supermarket must adapt to the intense changes in UK retailing or they will get left behind. We spotted this nearly two years ago, responding with a new strategy and taking time to thoroughly examine our structures, test scenarios, talk to our colleagues and adjust our proposals accordingly. This thorough process has helped us to reach this difficult decision today.”
Asda is the second largest supermarket in the UK but has seen its market share squeezed by discounters Aldi and Lidl. But it emerged as the big winner of the grocery price war , with sales up 3.6 per cent in the 12 weeks to June 22 compared to a 3.8 per cent fall at Morrisons and 1.9 per cent fall at Tesco.