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Sainsbury’s to Axe Up to 400 Jobs in Brick-and-Mortar Restructuring

Sainsbury’s is cutting hundreds of jobs to streamline its store operations.

According to a spokesman, the U.K.-based retailer is eliminating 400 price controllers from its stores as part of its restructuring plan, Reuters UK reported. At Sainsbury’s locations, price controllers are responsible for monitoring prices displayed on supermarket shelves and their role will be carried out by other employees in the future.

“We regularly review our business to ensure we’re operating as efficiently and effectively as possible and our resources are in the right place, so that we can provide our customers with the best possible service,” the spokesman said. “Following a recent review, we are making some changes to administrative roles and night shift patterns in a number of stores, subject to consultation.”

In the past few years, the U.K.’s supermarket tycoons, including Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been financing price cuts to better compete with other discount shops, including Aldi and Lidl, who have gained momentum in the nation for their affordable apparel and grocery options.

As part of its restructuring plan, Sainsbury’s is also trimming night shifts in 140 locations, which would cause 4,000 employees to change their early morning and late evening shifts.

Affected Sainsbury’s workers have entered a 45-day consultation period and will be offered other positions in the company.

Sainsbury’s recent job cuts follow the retailer’s third quarter results.

For the third quarter ended Jan. 7, 2017, Sainsbury’s reported that total retail sales were up by 0.8% and like-for-like retail sales also increased by 0.1%. Sainsbury’s convenience and grocery channels also performed exceptionally with over 6% sales growth for the third quarter.

In its third quarter strategic highlights, Sainsbury’s noted that it eliminated multi-buy promotions and that consumers paid 14% less for select Christmas products than they did in previous years.

“The market remains very competitive and the impact of the devaluation of sterling remains uncertain,” Sainsbury’s said. “However, we are well placed to navigate the external environment and remain focused on delivering our strategy.”