Asda has announced a restructuring programme that is putting 5,000 jobs at risk, weeks after the takeover by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital was completed.
The supermarket chain is looking to close the Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, impacting 800 employees, and to simplify ‘back office’ store functions which is potentially affecting 3,000 staff.
Asda is also proposing the realignment of some store-level management roles, impacting 1,100 workers, which would see an overall increase in headcount in such roles.
The grocer, which employs a total of 145,000 people, said it is entering consultations with those affected by the proposals and will prioritise moving as many employees as possible into alternative jobs, “with redundancy the last option”.
The firm said it has seen a structural shift in customer behaviour towards online grocery during the pandemic.
It increased its online capacity by 90% since last March to 850,000 weekly slots and is on track to reach 1mln per week by the end of the year.
As a result, it plans to expand its ‘in store pick’ model, creating 4,500 new roles across the country.
Previous owner Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) agreed to the sale in October for £6.8bn, although it retain an equity investment in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.
Asda is still headquartered in Leeds and chief executive Roger Burnley has remained in his role.
The new owners plan to invest £1bn over the next three years, increase the proportion of UK-based suppliers as well as focusing on keeping prices low.