Asda is planning to cut jobs at its head office in Leeds in response to a “radical change” in the way people shop.
The number of roles thought to be affected is in the low hundreds and will be within the grocery departments, Sky News reports. An Asda spokeswoman could not confirm this.
However, she confirmed that the retailer began outlining the plans to staff today.
She said: “It’s well documented that in recent years, customers have radically changed the way they shop. We were the first of the “big four” to recognise this and launch a new strategy in 2013 yet the external pressures have accelerated at an increasingly rapid rate over the last 18 months.
“As a result, the industry faces major challenges and the certainty of permanent structural change. In the context of this, we also have to further change the way we do business.
“Today, we have started to talk to our colleagues in head office functions about what this means for them. We have made some difficult but necessary decisions but we must discuss these with our colleagues before we talk publicly.”
Asda was reported to be the worst performing supermarket for grocery from the big four rivals, which include Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, according to Kantar. In the 12 weeks to January 3, sales declined by 3.5% and market share fell to 16.2%.
In November last year Asda reported a 30% spike in online trading at its fashion arm George, bucking the downwards trend of the supermarket’s overall sales.
Like-for-like sales across the Walmart-owned supermarket fell 4.5% for the 13 weeks to September 30 due to price deflation and the “intensely competitive” market. However, clothing sales grew ”ahead of the market” boosted by the back-to-school segment, which was up 9% year on year.