In a move not unlike Morrison’s last week (which is cutting some 720 jobs from its head office), Sainsbury’s has detailed proposed changes to its supermarket structures to ensure that stores are “better able to respond to changing customer demands”.
The proposals will help achieve some of the £500m cost savings being made over the next three years, set out in the company’s strategic review, to help fund future investments in areas which really matter to customers – such as service, price and quality.
The proposed measures include removing department and deputy managers from some stores, depending on the size and complexity of the existing management structure. This follows an extensive review which looked at how to better align resources to meet changing customer needs. Reducing the number of department manager roles will give colleagues who serve customers on tills and restock the shelves the opportunity to extend their hours or take additional shifts. This means more customer-facing colleagues will be on hand to offer service, with the right leadership and structures in place.
Consultation has also begun in over 100 supermarkets on proposals to change the way they are restocked overnight. This succeeds changes already made in 33 stores last year which substantially improved availability and service for customers. In these stores, it’s proposed that the night shift will be replaced by early morning and evening shifts, with fewer deliveries. Colleagues who currently work on the night shift will have a number of redeployment options, including: moving to early morning or evening shifts; staying on retained but smaller nightshifts; moving to a nearby store with a nightshift or transferring to another in-store role.
Redeployment opportunities will be available for most affected colleagues and a consultation is now underway to discuss individuals’ options. However, it is expected that these proposals will result in around 800 fewer roles.
Roger Burnley, Retail and Operations Director said:
“These are exceptionally difficult decisions to make and we have not taken them lightly. I recognise that this will be a challenging time for many of our colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them and help them move through this period of uncertainty as quickly as possible.
We set out very clearly last year that we have to reflect the changes in when and how our customers are shopping. These proposals will help us maintain and improve customer service by having more colleagues on hand and well-replenished shelves at all times.
The formal consultation starts today and, where possible, we hope colleagues will opt to move to other roles or stores. We expect the new structures to be in place later this year and as a result, we will be set up to work more effectively together to better serve our customers.”
These measures follow the restructuring of central roles in Store Support Centres in Holborn, Manchester and Coventry, to ensure the business remains focused on doing the right things for customers.