Sainsbury’s removes around 500 office roles, creating savings to invest in food

Chief Executive Simon Roberts shares proposals to simplify store support operations


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Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, Simon Roberts, today outlined proposals to adapt the business as part of his plan to put Food First. The proposals, which are subject to consultation, will enable Sainsbury’s to save money which it can invest in food. They include rationalising office space and simplifying Store Support Centre teams in Commercial Operations, Human Resources, Supply Chain & Logistics, Technology and General Merchandise & Clothing.

It is expected that the plans will result in the reduction of around 500 office roles. The savings created will be invested back into Sainsbury’s core food business. 

Sainsbury’s is reducing office space by one floor in its Manchester office and by two floors in offices in Holborn (London and Avebury (Milton Keynes). Part of the Beech office in Ansty will close and Walsgrave (Coventry) and Origin (London) offices will close. Colleagues based in these offices will be moved to existing Sainsbury’s offices which are being adapted to create more collaborative workspaces and encourage greater flexibility in where colleagues work once offices are able to welcome people back.

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Commenting on the proposals, Roberts said: “Our new plan puts food first and will create a simpler, nimbler and more efficient business. The money we save will enable us to invest in what customers really care about – lower prices, exciting new products and the most convenient ways for them to shop.

“I know change is difficult, but to do the best job we can for our customers, it is vital that we adapt. I understand this will be a very difficult time for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can to fully support them.”

Demonstrating his commitment to improving Sainsbury’s food offer, Roberts also updated colleagues in London on plans to further grow Groceries Online. By March 2022 over 20 stores in and around the capital will have their online departments expanded, enabling Sainsbury’s to deliver thousands more orders each week. 

As a result of the investment in stores, colleagues at the Online Fulfilment Centre (OFC) in Bromley-by-Bow, London will be consulted on proposals to close the site in June. Sainsbury’s hopes to redeploy most of the 650 OFC colleagues to neighbouring London stores to support expanded online departments. The food lab and bakery college, currently based at the OFC, will move to nearby locations. 

Simon Roberts added: “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our colleagues, we have doubled our online capacity since this time last year and we can now serve over 850,000 customer orders every week. As customer demand changes, we need to be able to adapt quickly. Our investment in London stores will enable more customers in the capital to access more home delivery and Click & Collect slots, as well as a variety of great value delivery options, such as 4-hour saver slots for just £1.”  

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