Leading UK supermarket chain Asda - which is owned by international parent company Wal-Mart - has announced plans to cut around 200 jobs across its head office departments.
Employees at its Leeds office and Leicestershire base - which manages the George clothing division of the company - were told earlier this week they may be set to lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting mission by the store to ensure it holds its place in the market.
Speaking to Just-Food, an Asda spokesman said: "We have been talking to our colleagues for some time about the need for change. In the spirit of openness, we've let our colleagues know that we will be having some more detailed discussions with them this week about a new structure."
While the future of many jobs with the retailer now looks uncertain, the spokesman added that no shopfloor positions would be affected by the cuts.
The supermarket has been taking steps to lower the prices of its grocery products in recent months in a bid to hold its high place in the increasingly competitive retail market. In particular, it faces competition from discount chains Aldi and Lidl, which are becoming more and more popular with those wanting to purchase cheap food and drink.
Lowering prices comes at a financial cost though and may be one of the contributing factors to these head office jobs being cut.
Along with fellow leading retailers Morrisons and Tesco, Asda recently lost a proportion of its market share, which fell by 0.3 per cent to 17.5 per cent earlier this year. The only store not to lose any of its stake in the market was Sainsbury's, which managed to hold on to its 17 per cent share.
Despite the proposed job cuts, Asda recently announced it would be investing £750 million in developing new sites across areas where the retailer currently does not have much of a customer base, such as in London and the south-east of England.