With mounting competition from other retailers, including convenience stores, supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s are having to make changes to their business model to improve quality and prices. In the case of Sainsbury’s, it unfortunately means that 400 jobs will be cut and 4,000 employees will also face changes to their contracts.
The most relevant change to Sainsbury’s business model is to completely cut the role of Price Controller. As part of the shakeup, this role will become redundant and the tasks associated with the job will be undertaken by other members of staff. The employees currently working in this role will have the option of redundancy or they may be able to fit into other positions within the company.
There are also going to be changes to shift patterns within Sainsbury’s, with the night shift being scrapped in 140 supermarkets. Employees will be offered alternative shifts, including early morning and late evening.
Trade union concerns
The consultation has now begun for these changes to the workforce in Sainsbury’s and Unite, the trade union, are hoping that there will be no compulsory redundancies. Sainsbury’s are a company who are experienced in change management and helping employees to be redeployed elsewhere and are good in this area.
Sainsbury’s are not the only food retailer who are making changes like this – and although they understand the difficulties this can cause some of their workforce, they are aiming to improve the quality of their products and make them more affordable for customers. These change also helps them to stay competitive in an ever-changing industry.
There seems to be a trend recently with many retailers changing their business models to accommodate the buying trends in the UK. Unfortunately, this means that a number of retailers have announced similar cuts. Boots, Greggs and Walkers crisps are a few retailers who are expected to cut their workforce and other large supermarkets will also be looking to change their business model in a similar respect to Sainsbury’s.
What is causing the decline in the retailer sector?
Supermarkets are still big business in the UK, but there is also more competition out there. Supermarkets who sell other products in addition to food and drink have competition from online shopping. There are far more convenience stores out there too – and many consumers prefer to use these options, rather than queuing up in busy supermarkets. The way we buy will always change and retailers need to keep up with these trends. Unfortunately, this often means jobs are lost along the way.