Sainsburys to cut hundreds of jobs after Argos takeover

Published on: 22nd January 2020

Chief executive Mike Coupe is to retire in May. 

Hundreds of management jobs are being cut at Sainsbury’s as the supermarket giant furthers its takeover of Argos. The two retailers plan to integrate head office functions across several departments, including commercial, retail, finance, digital, technology and human resources. The exact number of job losses has not been confirmed but Sainsbury’s said it would be in the hundreds.

Senior leadership roles had already been cut back by more than a fifth since March last year. The firm, which reported its fifth consecutive quarter of falling sales in January, stressed the announcement was part of previously-revealed plans to save £500m.

Sainsbury’s and Argos has head office functions across London, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Manchester and Coventry. In September, it was announced Sainsbury’s was shutting another 60 to 70 Argos shops to move them inside its supermarkets.

It has also been revealed that chief executive Mike Coupe will be retiring in May. Mike will leave after six years in charge of the UK’s second largest supermarket chain, and will be succeeded by the grocer’s retail and operations director, Simon Roberts. Sainsbury’s outgoing boss has faced questions about his future since April when the competition regulator blocked Sainsbury’s attempt to take over Walmart-owned rival Asda for £7.3b. Mike was the architect of that deal and Sainsbury’s share price has fallen 22% over the past year.

Mike commented: “The business had to adapt to continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future and, while change can be hard, it’s also necessary. We already have a sense of momentum across the business and can accelerate this by streamlining our structure and responding to customer needs more quickly.”

He added: “Truly integrating our business also unlocks efficiencies that we can reinvest in things that matter most to our customers.”


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