Sainsbury’s, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, is set to close two Argos depots within the next three years. This decision puts more than 1,400 jobs at risk and is part of Sainsbury’s efforts to streamline and rationalize its digital general merchandise retailer. The company acquired Argos for £1.4 billion in 2016 and has since integrated it into its operations while gradually closing standalone Argos stores.

The two depots that will be shut down are located in Basildon, Essex, and Heywood, Greater Manchester. The closure of these warehouses aims to reduce costs and will impact both Sainsbury’s employees and those working for an outsourced contractor.

In addition to the depot closures, Sainsbury’s also announced the closure of its Milton Keynes office. However, the company reassured that no jobs would be affected by this decision. Sainsbury’s CEO, Simon Roberts, described the move as a difficult but necessary step to simplify and improve efficiency for customers. He assured that affected colleagues would receive support throughout the process and have the opportunity to explore alternative roles within Sainsbury’s and Argos.

These closures follow Sainsbury’s recent announcement to close all 34 Argos stores in the Republic of Ireland, resulting in the loss of 580 jobs. Last year, the company also closed most of its high street Argos stores and relocated 150 of them inside Sainsbury’s stores, leading to significant job cuts.

Additionally, Sainsbury’s plans to close its Habitat furnishings and homewares brand showrooms in Brighton, Leeds, and the Westfield shopping center in London later this year. The company is currently in discussions with Habitat staff to explore their options.

To meet its financial targets, Sainsbury’s aims to achieve £1.3 billion in cost savings over the next three years, while also investing £550 million to lower prices by March.

Sainsbury’s is not the only major retailer facing challenges. Tesco, its larger rival, recently announced over 2,000 jobs at risk as it implements changes to its supermarket operations. Tesco plans to cut 1,750 team manager positions in its larger stores and make other role closures elsewhere.

The retail industry is undergoing significant transformation, with a strong shift towards online and digital operations. Supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco are adapting their business models to remain competitive in this changing landscape. However, these changes have a significant impact on employees, and both companies have expressed their commitment to supporting affected staff throughout the process.

For more information on Sainsbury’s and its operations, you can visit their official website here. To stay updated on the latest news and developments in the retail industry, you can also visit Retail Gazette’s website here.