Sainsbury's to shut two Argos hubs, 1,400 jobs at risk
UK supermarket giant Sainsbury's is planning to close two Argos depots over the next three years as part of a rationalisation programme for its digital general merchandise retailer. The move would impact over 1,400 jobs.
Sainsbury’s, which bought the Argos chain in 2016 for £1.4 billion and has slowly taken the digital retailer in-house while closing standalone stores, wants to shutter a warehouse in Basildon, Essex, and a depot in Heywood, Greater Manchester by 2026.
The integration of its Sainsbury's and Argos operations are being made to cut costs, it said, with both Sainsbury's staff and those who work for an outsourced contractor affected, it said.
At the same time, the retailer said it would close its Milton Keynes office in response to flexible working across the group, but stressed no jobs would be impacted by the decision.
Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts told The BBC it was a "difficult" decision but the business needed to become "simpler, more efficient and more effective for customers".
"We understand that this will be an unsettling time for affected colleagues, and we will support them however we can throughout this process."
The retailer said affected staff would get the chance to "explore alternative roles" within Sainsbury's and Argos.
The wider move comes just a month after Sainsbury's announced plans to shutter all of its 34 Argos stores in the Republic of Ireland with the loss of 580 jobs.
In 2020 it closed most ArgosUK high street store and moved 150 of them into its Sainsbury's stores, cutting thousands of jobs in the process.
Meanwhile its Habitat furnishings and homewares brand, bought alongside Argos in the same deal, is set to close its three remaining UK showrooms, in Brighton, Leeds and the Westfield shopping centre, London, later this year. Sainsbury's said it was in talks with Habitat staff about their options.
Sainsbury's has pledged to make £1.3 billion in cost saving in the next three years as it spend £550 million on lowering prices by this March.
Last month, bigger rival Tesco said more than 2,000 roles were at risk across its business as it announced more changes to the way it runs its supermarkets. It plans to cut 1,750 team manager posts across hundreds of its larger stores, while closing roles elsewhere.
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