Thousands of Asda jobs at risk as store begins cost-cutting drive

UK supermarket Asda has announced plans to cut costs, starting with the review of 3,257 employees across 18 stores.

The 18 underperforming stores are across the UK, including Broadstairs in Kent and the Basildon Eastgate store in Essex. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be cut in the next few weeks.

The cuts come as Asda has faced continually bad results since taken over by Walmart. Pre-tax profit for 2016 fell 19 percent to £791.7 million. The supermarket admitted they were “behind expectations”.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of our stores about changes that are needed to the number of hours required to run that store for our customers,” said an Asda spokesperson.

“It is common practice for a supermarket to need to make changes to hours based on the changing shopping habits of customers. We understand that any conversations about change are unsettling but it is always our upmost priority to find alternative roles or working patterns for impacted colleagues.”

 Sean Clarke from Walmart was given the task of turning the Asda’s performance around. He is focusing on dropping prices, improving the quality of food ranges and the quality of customer service.

Asda is not the only UK supermarket to feel the competition from discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) has also announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs from the head office in a major cost-cutting drive. Tesco (LON:TSCO) is axing 2,300 staff at the head office as well as staff at its Cardiff call centre – due to close early next year.

The underperforming stores that will have the major changes are: Arnold, Nottinghamshire; Boston, Lincolnshire; Broadstairs; Burnden Park, Bolton; Crewe; Basildon Eastgate; Eastleigh; Halifax; Harpurhey, Manchester; Mansfield; Minworth; Norwich; Oadby; Radcliffe, near Bury; Sinfin, Derby; Spennymoor, Co Durham; Thurmaston; and West Bridgford .