Supermarket giant Asda has announced that 3,000 jobs may be at risk as the retailer looks to invest more in its online sales platform.
The move comes as a result of shifting consumer behaviours throughout the pandemic say Asda, with the supermarket’s online capacity seeing an increase of 90% from March 2020.
Although it plans to create 4,500 roles in store-based online operations across the country, the retailer announced that it will be entering consultations with around 5,000 of its staff who are potentially impacted by the proposals. However, Asda said it hoped no more than 3,000 jobs will be lost. It added that it will look to move staff to alternative roles where possible.
In a statement on its website, Asda stated: “The supermarket has seen a structural shift in customer behaviour towards online grocery during the pandemic, consistently growing ahead of the market, with delivery volumes doubling to reach levels that were expected to take nine years to achieve.”
“Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us.”
Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and president, said: “The pandemic has accelerated change across the retail sector especially the shift towards grocery home shopping and our priority is to serve customers in the way they want to shop with us.
“The last 12-months have shown us that businesses have to be prepared to adapt quickly to change and I am incredibly proud of the way we demonstrated our agility and resilience through the pandemic. As customer habits continue to change we have to evolve our business to meet these demands and ensure our business is strong and sustainable for the long term.
“We know that these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this consultation process. Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business.”
The full list of proposals also reveal potential closures of Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, impacting around 800 colleagues, with future online orders in the South picked from local stores to deliver what Asada describe as improved levels of availability, capacity and service.