Asda has announced that 3,000 workers in its stores could be at risk of losing their jobs, as the firm plans to strengthen its investment in online sales.
The supermarket chain - which is the third-largest in the UK - said that the demand for grocery deliveries has increased since the start of the Covid pandemic last March, and this has driven plans to “transform the business”.
‘We know that these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues’
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Asda said it had begun consultations with 5,000 of its back office store workers, but that it hoped the new business plan would result in no more than 3,000 job losses.
Out of the 3,000 back office store workers set to be affected, staff with cash and administrative roles are expected to be particularly impacted by the firm’s move.
The supermarket chain said it plans to close its Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, with around 800 jobs affected, as it looks to move towards more picking operations in stores.
Around 1,100 of its store management roles will be changed in order to support online grocery operations.
However, the firm said it plans to create around 4,500 separate jobs in its online operations this year, and will look to hire staff impacted by the potential cuts.
The chain's chief executive, Roger Burnley, said: "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.
"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."