Walmart-owned supermarket chain Asda has initiated a consultation process with staff to cut 862 jobs or enforce pay cuts in order to position itself against stiff competition in the UK retail market.
The job cuts are expected to affect ‘section leader’ positions in each of the company’s stores across the UK, according to The Guardian.
The retailer also intends to reduce the time spent on stacking shelves as part of its wider strategy to reduce operating costs.
An Asda spokesperson was quoted by media sources as saying: “In November, we began consulting with colleagues in our Grocery Home Shopping and Ambient teams about potential changes to the way they work to improve availability for customers.
“In an ever-changing sector, these proposed changes are about making sure we’re doing the best job for our customers in the most efficient way possible.
“While these are only proposals, we know talking about change is unsettling which is why we’re working with our colleagues to get their views before any final decisions are made early next year.”
The latest development comes after Asda cut 300 jobs at its headquarters in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and its Leicester location as part of a strategy aimed at keeping declining sales in check.
Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s and Tesco also announced job cuts.
For the year to 31 December last year, Asda’s like-for-like sales fell by 5.7%, while its underlying operating profit declined 11.5%.