Image Source: David Anstiss
Chloe Shakesby

Sainsbury's slashes 3,500 jobs with hundreds of Argos closures and food counter cuts

A national retail group has today announced that 3,500 jobs will be cut as it closes more than 400 stores and various food counters.

Sainsbury’s, which owns the supermarket of the same name as well as Argos, said that it will close around 420 Argos standalone stores by March 2024, reducing the estate to approximately 100.

In tandem with this, it will be opening up to 150 new Argos stores within existing Sainsbury’s locations, as well as up to 200 Argos collection points.

On top of this, the supermarket chain has announced plans to close a proportion of its meat, deli and fish counters.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, commented: “Covid-19 has accelerated a number of shifts in our industry.

“Investments over recent years in digital and technology have laid the foundations for us to flex and adapt quickly as customers needed to shop differently.

“Around 19 per cent of our sales were digital this time last year and nearly 40 per cent of our sales are digital today.

“While we are working hard to help feed the nation through the pandemic, we have also spent time thinking about how we deliver for our customers and our shareholders over the longer term.

“We will put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s. We are already working to make this happen - we have lowered prices on over 1,500 every day grocery products over the past few months and we will do more of this, focusing on the staple products that our customers buy every day.

“We know that customers are feeling the pinch and we want them to feel confident they will get always get great value, quality and service from Sainsbury’s.

“We will focus on accelerating product innovation and will bring new and exclusive products to our customers much more often. To support our ambition in food, we are accelerating our ambition to structurally reduce our cost base right across the business so we can invest faster back into our core food offer.

“Our other brands - Argos, Habitat, Tu, Nectar and Sainsbury’s Bank - must deliver for their customers and for our shareholders in their own right.

“Argos sales have been strong over the past six months and we have gained almost two million new customers as people have re-connected with Argos.

“Over the next three years we will make Argos a simpler, more efficient and more profitable business while still offering customers great convenience and value and improving availability.

“We will also make Habitat more widely available in Sainsbury’s and Argos, giving customers access to stylish home and furniture products at more affordable prices.

“We are talking to colleagues today about where the changes we are announcing in Argos standalone stores and food counters impact their roles.

“We will work really hard to find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible and expect to be able to offer alternative roles for the majority of impacted colleagues.”

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