Hundreds of management jobs to go in latest Sainsbury’s overhaul

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Hundreds more management jobs are being cut at Sainsbury’s in the latest overhaul following its takeover of Argos.

The supermarket giant confirmed plans to further integrate the head office functions for both Sainsbury’s and Argos across departments including commercial, retail, finance, digital, technology and human resources.

It declined to reveal the total number of further roles that will be cut, but said it would be in the “hundreds”.

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe told staff the cuts are hard but ‘necessary’ (Sainsbury’s/PA)

It comes after the retailer has already cut the number of senior leadership roles by more than a fifth since last March.

Sainsbury’s and Argos have head office functions across London, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Manchester and Coventry.

Chief executive Mike Coupe told staff: “We have to adapt to continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future and, while change can be hard, it’s also necessary.”

He added: “We already have a sense of momentum across the business and can accelerate this by streamlining our structure and responding to customer needs more quickly.

“Truly integrating our business also unlocks efficiencies that we can reinvest in the things that matter most to our customers.”

The group stressed the job cuts are part of previously announced plans to save £500 million in costs, revealed after its failed attempt to merge with rival Asda.

It comes after Sainsbury’s revealed plans two years ago to shake up its management team, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

It has been cutting out duplicate jobs and making efficiencies following the 2016 acquisition of Argos, while also looking to make savings amid a brutal price war with the German discounters.

The group recently posted falling sales over its Christmas quarter as a tough toy and video games market offset a robust performance in food and clothing.

The group saw like-for-like retail sales fall 0.7%, excluding fuel, in the 15 weeks to January 4.

Its performance was dragged lower by a 3.9% fall in general merchandise sales – its worst performance since the group bought Argos.

The group warned that trading is set to remain “highly competitive and promotional” in 2020, with ongoing consumer uncertainty clouding the outlook.