A woeful financial year has prompted Asda to look at making hundreds of redundancies or dramatically reduce the working hours of thousands of staff.
The UK’s third-biggest grocery retailer is looking to cut costs and has commenced a three-week consultation period with 3257 employees with regards to the future of their jobs.
The staff in question all work at Asda’s 18 under-performing stores, which were targeted as being overstaffed when compared to sales performances.
Once the consultations are completed, the eventual number of job losses is expected to be in the hundreds.
Asda is also reportedly eyeing staff at 59 other branches on an informal basis, but rather than make redundancies they hope staff would agree would work in different departments when required.
Workers union GMB has said it has been contacted by Asda staff who were “fearing for their jobs” after store managers were given new business plans that includes major reductions in working hours.
“We are currently in discussions with a number of our stores about changes that are needed to the number of hours required to run that store for our customers,” an Asda spokesman said.
“It is common practice for a supermarket to need to make changes to hours based on the changing shopping habits of customers.
“We understand that any conversations about change are unsettling but it is always our upmost priority to find alternative roles or working patterns for impacted colleagues.”
The news comes a week after Asda laid bare a disastrous 2016, with full year results filed at Companies House revealing a 19 per cent crash in pre-tax profits to £791.7 million and a 3.2 per cent drop in total sales to £21.7 billion.
Like-for-like sales also fell by 5.7 per cent, making it its worst year since the grocery chain was acquired by Walmart.
The 18 Asda stores where staff will undergo consultation are located in Boston, Lincolnshire; Broadstairs, Kent; Crewe, Cheshire; Basildon Eastgate, Essex; Eastleigh, Hampshire; Halifax, West Yorkshire; Minworth, near Birmingham; Norwich (old store), Norfolk; Sinfin, Derby; Spennymoor, Co Durham; Arnold, Mansfield and West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire; Thurmaston and Oadby in Leicestershire; and Burnden Park, Harpurhey and Radcliffe in Greater Manchester.
Asda is not the first of the Big 4 to undergo staff overhauls, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco also announcing job cuts in the past few weeks.