SUPERMARKET workers are facing an anxious wait after Sainsbury’s announced it is to cut 800 jobs.
The chain – which has branches across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Hartlepool – is the latest supermarket to restructure its operations in the face of tough trading conditions.
Sainsbury’s said it will review its department and deputy manager positions, with more resources invested into other shopfloor roles.
It will also replace night shifts with early-morning and evening shifts in some stores in an effort to improve availability for customers.
Redeployment opportunities will be made available but Sainsbury’s said it expects the proposals will result in around 800 fewer roles.
The proposals will help Sainsbury’s achieve some of the £500 million in cost savings it hopes to make over the next three years.
It said: “Reducing the number of department manager roles will give colleagues who serve customers on tills and restock the shelves the opportunity to extend their hours or take additional shifts.
“This means more customer-facing colleagues will be on hand to offer service, with the right leadership and structures in place.”
The proposal to change the way stores are restocked overnight will impact 100 sites and comes after changes made in 33 other stores resulted in better product availability and service for customers.
It is the latest restructuring by a UK supermarket chain after Tesco announced store closures and thousands of jobs losses and Bradford-based Morrisons said it planned to axe up to 720 jobs from its head office.
Roger Burnley, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, said: “We set out very clearly last year that we have to reflect the changes in when and how our customers are shopping.
“These proposals will help us maintain and improve customer service by having more colleagues on hand and well-replenished shelves at all times.
“The formal consultation starts today and, where possible, we hope colleagues will opt to move to other roles or stores. We expect the new structures to be in place later this year and, as a result, we will be set up to work more effectively together to better serve our customers.”
Sainsbury’s employs around 161,000 staff across 1,200 stores, depots and support centres.