Asda is to cut 1,360 positions in its management as part of a "radical" restructuring of its operations.
The supermarket chain stated that it will make over a 1,000 redundancies but maintained that it will be creating 5,630 roles. However, these will be split between section leaders and section manager positions with the latter seeing the addition of 1,622 new staff members. It was slightly more positive than the original projections in May when Asda was preparing for 2,600 redundancies.
Andy Clarke, Asda's chief executive, explained that the move would affect the Walmart-owned company's 578 stores across the UK. The 1,360 people expected to take redundancy of their own choice or because they do not fill the selection criteria needed in the new restructuring process.
Mr Clarke conceded that it was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make and added: "Every supermarket must adapt to the intense changes in UK retailing or they will get left behind. We spotted this nearly two years ago, responding with a new strategy and taking time to thoroughly examine our structures, test scenarios, talk to our colleagues and adjust our proposals accordingly."
The way consumers shop has altered significantly in recent years with more and more people taking advantage of online shopping. With the rise of smartphones and tablet devices it has never been easier to order groceries over the internet and have them delivered to their home. It has meant supermarkets have had to change their tact to cope with the swing in consumer preference.
Morrisons announced in March that it too was embarking on a restructuring process that would help to compete with discount chains following a £176 million loss. Sainsbury's has also teamed up with Netto to take on the likes of Lidl and Aldi with new Netto stores to be opened in England throughout 2015.