The supermarket giant has said the major restructuring has been driven by the “structural shift” towards online grocery shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new shift puts up to 3,000 back office store workers at risk.
The supermarket chain said it plans to create around 4,500 jobs in its online operations this year and will look to hire staff affected by the restructuring.
Roger Burnley, Asda chief executive officer and president, said: “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.
“We know that these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this consultation process.
“Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business.”
The firm said it plans to close its Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, with around 800 jobs affected, as it looks to shift more picking operations into stores.
It added that around 1,100 of its store management roles will be changed to support online grocery operations as more picking takes place in stores.
However, the company said this could increase the total headcount in these roles by around 60, as part of the consultations.
Earlier this month, Asda said customers shifted their shopping behaviour to purchase more premium items.
The group’s Extra Special range saw sales jump by 30 percent in December as shoppers particularly spent more on meat, fish and poultry.
It said combined sales for its Asda.com and George.com platforms jumped by 76% year-on-year.
It comes months after the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity backer TDR Capital agreed a £6.8 billion deal for the supermarket chain.
The takeover is still awaiting approval from competition regulators, so the new owners are yet to take control of Asda’s operations.
More to follow…