Sainsbury’s has unveiled proposals that are expected to result in up to 2,000 job losses.
The UK’s second-largest supermarket chain said it was consulting on a series of measures that would mainly affect human resources and payroll staff.
The FTSE 100 company said it wanted to remove all HR and payroll clerk roles from in-store completely – hitting around 1,400 people.
It said 600 further roles were under threat from a restructuring that would consolidate HR and other support roles across its grocery chain, Argos and Sainsbury’s Bank.
A spokesman said: “The UK grocery market is changing at a rapid pace and it’s crucial that we transform the way we operate to meet future challenges and continue to provide customers with best in class service.
“Following a comprehensive review, we are proposing some updates to our HR structures and systems, as well as changes to a number of other support roles, subject to consultation.
“This has been a difficult decision and we appreciate that this will be a tough time for those colleagues affected by the changes. We will support them in any way we can.”
The company confirmed the cost-cutting plan after the markets had closed for the day.
The shake-up means Sainsbury’s, which took over Argos last year, is following rivals in the fiercely competitive grocery sector in looking to make efficiencies to invest more in its customer proposition.
The so-called big four chains, which also include Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, have been battling a customer drift towards discounters since the end of the financial crisis.