5,000 jobs at risk in Asda restructuring plan

Leeds-headquartered Asda has begun consulting with workers over a major restructuring of the business which could put about 5,000 jobs at risk, including 3,000 non-store roles.

Proposed cuts reported this afternoon would be in areas such as cash management, where there is now less activity because more people are shopping online.

But the cuts could also affect two online-only stores where orders are picked.

Asda said its sites in Dartford and Heston that are used to pick online orders could shut, as the company switches to using regular stores to gather goods for online deliveries. This would mean a loss of 800 jobs.

And the supermarket also plans to change about 1,100 of its store management roles.

However the supermarket chain says it intends to create 1,500 news jobs as it recruits 4,500 people in order to grows its online provision.

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley told the BBC today: “The pandemic has accelerated change across the retail sector especially the shift towards grocery home shopping and our priority is to serve customers in the way they want to shop with us.

“The last 12 months have shown us that businesses have to be prepared to adapt quickly to change and I am incredibly proud of the way we demonstrated our agility and resilience through the pandemic.”

Asda says it hopes many of those staff at risk can be moved to the new jobs and that the actual number of employees leaving the business will be lower.

The business was recently purchased by billionaire Blackburn brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital, in a deal valuing it at £6.8bn. However the pair are yet to assume control of the supermarket, with the deal still to be formerly approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.