Tuesday, 02 March, 2021


Sainsbury's to axe 3,500 jobs in stores revamp, Argos closures

Argos stores including the branch in Inverurie have an uncertain future Argos stores including the branch in Inverurie have an uncertain future
Melba Vasquez | 06 November, 2020, 14:55

Sainsbury's said it wants to integrate 150 Argos outlets and 150-200 collect points into its supermarkets.

It is not yet clear which stores will close or how the Irish division of the company will be affected - though it was announced that 120 Argos stores that did not reopen after lockdown will be included in the total of 420.

Sainsbury's added that it expects to close 15 to 20 supermarkets and 50 to 60 convenience stores in the next three years, with separate plans to open 100 convenience stores over the next three years. These stores will remain closed permanently.

It came as the UK's second largest supermarket firm posted a pre-tax loss of £137 million for the past year, after being hit by £438 million in one-off costs related to store closures. The Nairn branch already has an Argos outlet within the store.

Unite national officer for the food industry Bev Clarkson said: "This is very disappointing news for our 500 members working on the deli, fish and meat counters".

"We've had a really good look at how customers are shopping for food today and the reality on the counters is that they have been in long term decline for quite a period of time", he told reporters.

Sainsbury's has said growth across the business will result in the creation of thousands of new jobs, with the company expected to see a net increase of 6,000 permanent roles this year despite the latest cuts. 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.

Sainsbury's said it aimed to find alternative roles for as many impacted employees as possible, pointing out it had hired 52,000 since March.

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

"We are talking to colleagues today where the changes we are announcing impact their roles", said Sainsbury's in a statement.

"Around 19 per cent of our sales were digital this time previous year and almost 40 per cent of our sales are digital today".

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