Asda is set to begin consultations with staff on changes that could potentially mean up to 2500 job cuts next year.
A spokesperson for the Big 4 grocer said it needed to factor in changing employees’ roles and working hours.
According to Sky News, Asda did not confirm the shake-up would lead to 2500 jobs being slashed, but it did not deny the figure.
The grocer is the latest major supermarket chain to unveil a staff shake-up aimed at saving costs.
“In a competitive retail market, where customers rightly expect great value and ease of service, we must always look at how we can work more quickly and efficiently for them – and inevitably, that means we need to consider changing the roles we need our colleagues to do or the hours needed in particular parts of our stores,” Asda said.
“We believe the proposed changes we are consulting on would allow us to do a better job for our customers.
“We also recognise that discussions about potential change aren’t easy.
“If the decision is taken to implement the proposed changes we would work with our colleagues to look at the potential impact of these proposals on them.”
Sky News reported that areas which could be affected in the job cuts include petrol sales, bakery departments and back-office staff.
Sales staff in Asda’s George clothing arm could also be affected.
Asda, which has been owned by US retail giant Walmart since 1999, is poised to be taken over by Sainsbury’s in a £12 billion merger – although this is still pending an investigation by the CMA.
Union representatives warned that the latest news would add to workers’ anxiety around job security in the lead-up to Christmas, given they may already be worried about the proposed merger.