Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds of office jobs axed as Asda tightens its belt

Asda has axed nearly 300 jobs at its head office as part of a major cost-cutting drive at the Walmart-owned supermarket.

The grocery giant informed around 288 affected staff about the cull on Wednesday afternoon, instructing all of those workers to leave their posts immediately.

A further 800 staff have had the scope of their job descriptions changed as part of the shake-up.

The job cuts account for more than one 10th of Asda's 2,500 head office roles, and it is understood that the majority of staff being let go had been working at its office in Leeds while the rest were based at Asda's office in Leicester.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: "At Asda we value each and every one of our colleagues.

"The changes are in response to the ever changing sector in which we're working and the need to adapt to create an agile business which is fit for the future."

Asda is in the midst of a turnaround plan under new chief executive Sean Clarke, who is attempting to arrest falling sales as the supermarket scraps it out with rivals in a brutal price war that has eroded profits.

It comes after reports surfaced last month that thousands of Asda workers across 18 underperforming stores are facing redundancy or changes to their working hours.

Staffing arrangements in a further 59 stores are also being looked at as Mr Clarke brings in a raft of changes.

In August, there were signs that his strategy was beginning to bear fruit, with Asda posting its first quarterly sales growth in three years.

The supermarket reported a 1.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the second quarter, bringing an end to 11 consecutive quarters of deterioration.

Figures were boosted by a combination of price cuts and rising inflation, and came a year after Asda reported its worst quarterly performance on record when sales tumbled by 7.5%.

Mr Clarke, who took up the reins last summer after being parachuted in to replace previous boss Andy Clarke, has slashed the prices of everyday items as part of attempts to woo back shoppers.

The move, part of a new value campaign dubbed That's Better, has also seen Asda improve the quality of its own-brand ranges.

Mr Clarke said last month that more shoppers were choosing Asda, but warned that the supermarket must up its game.

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