Sainsbury’s axing Arndale office jobs as supermarket giant outsources to India

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is axing jobs at its city center Arndale office as it looks to cut its costs, it has been confirmed. Jobs will instead be outsourced to locations such as India.

Roles across food commercial, finance operations and people services and HR are being outsourced to the firm Accenture threatening at least 300 jobs across the UK. The company could not confirm how many of these 300 jobs were at their office in Arndale House while a consultation process takes place.

Staff were made aware of these impending changes yesterday. The email, seen by the Manchester Evening News written by CEO Simon Roberts, says the company needs to ‘save to invest’ and that they ‘must keep moving at pace to become more efficient and embed simpler and better ways of working’.

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Mr Roberts added to employees: “I do want to be upfront that as we look to the future, we have to keep looking across our business for ways we can be simpler and more efficient. This means over time we will need to consider in what further ways this approach could help us continue to simplify our business.”

Getting to the outsourcing, he says: “From this summer – subject to consultation – we’ll start to remove process-based activity from our teams and bring it together in one dedicated location. This way of working is called a shared service center operating model and many businesses across the UK and around the world use this approach to transform their processes, standardizing and simplifying tasks.This includes our key competitors and many of our large suppliers.

Arndale House, the office block in the city center where Sainsbury’s jobs are under threat

“We will partner with Accenture to create an expanded shared service center in Mumbai, India. Our Digital colleagues have been working with this team for two years now and our Tech team has extensive experience in working with partners, so we know this model works and “will bring real benefits. Our teams will have more time to focus on customer-focused work, whilst we’ll also benefit from specialist expertise and talent, and we will lower the costs of our organisation.”

This is the latest in a line of measures from Mr Roberts to ‘save and invest’ and to rival discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi. In November 2020 the store revealed plans to permanently close its in-store meat, fish and deli counters while earlier this year the supermarket said it would close 200 cafes, 34 hot food counters and 54 bakeries putting thousands more jobs at risk.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are focused on our plans to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s. To achieve this, we are becoming a more simple, nimble and efficient business so that we can reinvest in what matters most to customers – low prices, exciting new products and convenient ways to shop.

“We are talking to a small proportion of our store support center colleagues about some changes we are proposing to the way we work. Colleagues affected will enter into a consultation process and we are supporting them through this in any way we can.

“This includes exploring alternative roles within Sainsbury’s, as well as providing independent support with job opportunities elsewhere as part of a redundancy package which far exceeds statutory requirements.”

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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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