300 jobs cut across two Asda offices

Staff escorted from the building after being given the news

Staff at Asda’s head office were “escorted out of the building” after the supermarket began a round of job cuts. It has now been confirmed that 300 jobs have been cut across the Leeds and Leicester offices.

A source informed TheBusinessDesk.com that the move affected a large number of people, with staff leaving the building on Great Wilson Street with “boxes in hand”.

In a statement released at 4.30pm, an Asda spokesperson said: “In recent years, the competitive landscape in retail has changed significantly and Asda has been no different. Our stores have adapted the way they operate to meet the changing needs of our customers, and our home offices must also adapt how they operate to support our stores.

“Today we are making some significant changes to the way we operate our home offices. As you’d expect, we have discussed the details of these changes with our colleagues first.

“These changes impact around 1100  roles across Asda House in Leeds and George House in Leicester, and sadly result in around 300 colleagues leaving us.”

Today’s job cuts come just a month after it was revealed that thousands of Asda staff at 18 underperforming stores were at risk of losing their jobs or facing cuts in working hours.

Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain began a consultation with 3,257 employees in stores which are viewed as being overstaffed relative to their current sales performance.

It was also understood that Asda was also looking at staffing levels in a further 59 of its supermarkets.

Asda has seen sales dwindle over the past three years, recording 11 consecutive quarters of decline.

This led to the exit of chief executive Andy Clarke, who was replaced by Walmart international executive Sean Clarke last year.

In August, the grocer revealed that profits and revenues slumped last year, in the worst year for Asda since it was taken over by Walmart.

Like-for-like sales in 2016 decreased 5.7% compared to the previous year, which was already 4.7% down on the year before while pre-tax profits declined by 19.9% to £657.2m. A dividend of £450m was paid during the year to owners Walmart despite the slump.

However, the group reported its first quarterly sales rise in three years for the second quarter of 2017. Sales excluding fuel rose 1.8% in the second quarter compared to a 7.5% decline last year.