Co-op group to axe 400 jobs blaming ‘tough trading environment’

Angel Square

The Co-op Group has announced it will shed 400 jobs.

It said it hopes to achieve its target through a mixture of redundancies and by not filling vacancies.

The group confirmed the job cuts will be centred on its Manchester support centre, One Angel Square.

It blamed a “tough trading environment” for its decision, which it said it had made “with a heavy heart”.

The business had warned in its last set of annual results that making the business “more efficient and cost-effective was a priority” and revealed that it had brought forward plans for rationalisation earmarked for 2023.

A spokeswoman said: “The tough trading environment, including rising inflation, means we have taken the difficult decision to bring forward some of the changes we had planned for 2023.

“These changes, designed to simplify our approach to business, will sadly mean a number of colleagues in central functions will leave the business.

“There are no changes to customer-facing roles and, where possible, we will reduce roles by not filling vacancies and through preferences to exit.”

She added: “We make these changes with a heavy heart, but it is the right thing to do for the long term health of our Co-op and for all of our members.”

Around 4,000 staff are based at the Angel Square support centre.

In April this year the group, under new CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq, announced that sales and profits for the year to January 1, 2022, had fallen, and warned of “stark headwinds” in the forthcoming year.

Group revenues of £11.15bn were lower on the previous year’s £11.47bn due to COVID-related factors, the impact of significant supply chain disruption, and system transformation in the food division in the sec