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3,000 jobs at risk as Asda announces major restructure

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Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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WATCH: Thousands of jobs impacted as Asda launches major restructuring

Asda has announced a major restructuring that could see up to 3,000 back office roles disappear.

The supermarket said on Thursday it would begin a consultation with 5,000 staff members about an overhaul to its business. Asda plans to create 4,500 new roles in online operations but said 3,000 jobs elsewhere could go.

"The pandemic has accelerated change across the retail sector especially the shift towards grocery home shopping and our priority is to serve customers in the way they want to shop with us," chief executive Roger Burnley said in a statement.

Asda plans to close its Dartford and Heston home shopping centres as it moves towards picking and packing online orders in-store rather than at separate facilities. The closures will affect around 800 jobs.

Asda logo seen at one of their company's superstores. Photo: Keith Mayhew/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images
Asda logo seen at one of their company's superstores. Photo: Keith Mayhew/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images

READ MORE: Walmart agrees sale of Asda to billionaire brothers for £6.8bn

“The last 12 months have shown us that businesses have to be prepared to adapt quickly to change and I am incredibly proud of the way we demonstrated our agility and resilience through the pandemic," Burnley said.

“We know that these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this consultation process."

Asda said it would look to recruit staff affected by the restructure in newly created online roles where possible.

“Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business," Burnley said.

READ MORE: Deloitte quits audit of Asda buyer Issa brothers' company

The major restructure a month after Walmart (WMT) agreed to sell Asda to UK billionaires the Issa brothers. The deal is awaiting approval from the UK competition regulator, which is still probing the transaction.

The financing of the deal has drawn scrutiny after it emerged that the Issa Brothers were only investing around £800m of their own money to fund the £6.8bn ($9.6bn) takeover. The rest will come from asset disposals and debt deals.

WATCH: Walmart sells UK's Asda supermarket for $8.8bn