// Asda launches consultations with 5000 staff amid major restructuring scheme & online transformation
// The move could place around 3000 jobs at risk, mostly back office store workers
// Also plans to create around 4500 separate jobs across the country in its online operations this year
Asda has launched consultations with around 5000 staff over a major restructuring scheme that could put around 3000 back office store workers at risk.
The Big 4 grocer said the restructuring was being driven by the “structural shift” towards online grocery shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that redundancy would only be “the last option” for the roles up for consultation.
Asda stressed it would try and move “as many colleagues as possible into alternative roles” within the business, with plans to create around 4500 separate jobs across the country in its online operations this year.
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Nevertheless, Asda said the consultations would impact about 3000 back office store workers, particularly staff with cash and administrative roles amid the continued slump in cash transactions.
The retailer added that it plans to close its Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, with around 800 jobs affected, as it looks to shift more picking operations into stores.
It also said that around 1100 of its store management roles would change to support online grocery operations as more picking takes place in stores.
However, Asda said this could increase the total headcount in these roles by around 60, as part of the consultations.
“The pandemic has accelerated change across the retail sector, especially the shift towards grocery home shopping, and our priority is to serve customers in the way they want to shop with us,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“The last 12 months have shown us that businesses have to be prepared to adapt quickly to change and I am incredibly proud of the way we demonstrated our agility and resilience through the pandemic.
“We know that these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this consultation process.
“Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business.”
It comes months after the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity backer TDR Capital agreed a £6.8 billion deal for the supermarket chain.
While the takeover process has completed, it is still awaiting approval from regulators at the CMA, so the new owners are yet to take control of Asda’s operations.
with PA Wires