Lanarkshire Sainsbury’s cafes to close in shake-up by retailer

Supermarket giants Sainsbury’s are set to close their Lanarkshire in-store cafes as part of a major shake-up of the business.

The retailer has cafes in both its East Kilbride and Hamilton superstores with staff there now at risk of losing their jobs.

Sainsbury’s told staff at its cafes yesterday morning that it is proposing to close 200 sites in the UK next month.

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Union USDAW has branded the move “devastating” for staff.

Sainsbury’s has confirmed no cafes in Scotland are set to remain open in a shake-up of its in-store dining which is set to hit around 2000 workers.

Just last January Sainsbury’s shut their doors on the Olympia store in East Kilbride town center for good – saying it was concentrating on its operations at the Kingsgate Retail Park – now affected by the café closures.

The decision to close the cafes is a part of a wider move to transform its dining, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offer from stores.

The retailer said it will also open 30 more restaurant hubs in stores in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), which runs the Caffe Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens brands.

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It said the move comes after a successful trial partnership at its Selly Oak supermarket in Birmingham.

The supermarket business said it will also open 30 Starbucks sites across its supermarkets, as it seeks to overhaul its offer across 250 stores over the next three years.

Supermarket bosses also plan to launch consultations with an undisclosed number of staff regarding plans to close less popular hot food counters in 34 stores and changes to how it runs bakeries in 54 stores.

It is the latest in a raft of recent restructuring moves by the retailer as it seeks to keep a lid on rising costs.

Sainsbury’s said that workers affected by the closures will be prioritized for vacant roles in stores and will be encouraged to apply for jobs elsewhere in the business.

Dave Gill, USDAW national officer, said: “This is devastating news for our members affected by Sainsbury’s proposals.

“Usdaw’s local reps and officials will now engage in talks with store managers, where they will be looking at the business case for the company’s planned changes.

“Usdaw’s priorities are to keep as many staff employed in the business and achieve the best deal possible for those affected. In the meantime we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive officer, said: “As we go through this period of transition, we have made the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month.

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“We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time.

“Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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