Sainsbury's plans to cut 500 office jobs in Manchester, London and Milton Keynes to fund lower food prices, product innovation and invest in online shopping.

Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts yesterday (3 March) outlined proposals to adapt the business as part of his plan to 'put food first'.

The proposals, which are subject to consultation, will enable Sainsbury's to save money which it can invest in food, he said.

They involve cutting 500 jobs in human resources, supply chain and logistics, general merchandise and commercial operations, and any savings will be invested into Sainsbury's core food operations.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury's chief executive, said he plans to create a simpler, nimbler and more efficient business, and that the money saved will allow the business to invest in 'what customers really care about - lower prices, exciting new products and the most convenient ways for them to shop'.

He said: “I know change is difficult, but to do the best job we can for our customers, it is vital that we adapt. I understand this will be a very difficult time for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can to fully support them.”

Demonstrating his commitment to improving Sainsbury's food offer, Roberts updated colleagues in London on plans to further grow Groceries Online. By March 2022, over 20 stores in and around the capital will have their online departments expanded, enabling Sainsbury's to deliver thousands more orders each week.

Sainsbury’s has doubled its online capacity since March last year after lockdown triggered a boom in digital orders and a race among grocers to conquer the new market. It ships out over 850,000 orders every week.

'As customer demand changes, we need to be able to adapt quickly,' Roberts said. 'Our investment in London stores will enable more customers in the capital to access more home delivery and Click & Collect slots, as well as a variety of great value delivery options, such as 4-hour slots for just £1.'

Last month Asda cut thousands of back office jobs to focus on conquering the online grocery market, according to The Telegraph.

The paper said Asda expects to axe up to 5,000 staff as part of a drive to simplify the management structure in stores and bolster its online offering. Bosses are also seeking to hire 4,500 staff to pick internet orders.