More than 800 Asda jobs are at risk after it emerged the Walmart-owned supermarket has launched a consultation with stores over slashing management positions.
The proposals, sent to stores three weeks ago, are thought to apply to every Asda store across the UK, with a couple of people in the "section leader" position to be affected from each store.
In total, 842 section leaders could be cut from the management teams or face pay cuts. Across its stores, it employs between 5,000 and 6,000 people in these roles, which are higher paid and more senior than shop floor workers.
The consultation period will end early in the new year. The business case that was sent to store managers also including plans to reduce the time spent on shelf-stacking.
A spokesman for Asda said the “proposed changes are about making sure we’re doing the best job for our customers in the most efficient way possible”.
“In November, we began consulting with colleagues in our Grocery Home Shopping and Ambient teams about potential changes to the way they work to improve availability for customers.
"Whilst these are only proposals, we know talking about change is unsettling which is why we’re working with our colleagues to get their views before any final decisions are made early next year. Once we’re clear on a course of action, we’ll talk to our colleagues first and foremost and as quickly as possible," the spokesman added.
The Daily Telegraphunderstands that the move, first reported in the Guardian is an attempt to compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl on price, and follows job cuts at Sainsbury's and Tesco.
Lidl, on the other hand, last month announced it was increasing hourly wages for its 16,000 employees.