Store managers need not fear for jobs

SENIOR management at Sainsbury stores need not fear for their jobs – they are safe, said a company spokeswoman today.Although bosses at the supermarket chain are always striving to make the business more effective, reports in a national newspaper that they are planning to axe up to half of its average 32 senior managers employed at each of its 535 stores was "totally untrue", said the spokeswoman.

SENIOR management at Sainsbury stores need not fear for their jobs – they are safe, said a company spokeswoman today.

Although bosses at the supermarket chain are always striving to make the business more effective, reports in a national newspaper that they are planning to axe up to half of its average 32 senior managers employed at each of its 535 stores was "totally untrue", said the spokeswoman.

The company holds its annual meeting on tomorrow and a report in the financial section of a Sunday tabloid said the store had been sounding out its investors on the plan which would bring it in line with rivals Asda and Tesco.

It was reported that one investor had been told Sainsbury's was looking to de-layer management in store but it would end up employing more staff than it was slashing.

By cutting staff at the top end it would be recruiting up to 10,000 junior staff for check out and shelf-stacking jobs.

But a Sainsbury spokeswoman said there was no foundation to the speculation, the only truth being that the company was always looking at ways of making parts of the business more effective.

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"There are no plans to make any staff redundant, and it is simply untrue for it to be suggested otherwise," she said.

She also said there was no plan to restructure the layers of the business.

Sainsbury is Britain's second-biggest grocer employing about 145,000. It announced plans last month to axe 1,000 jobs by 2005 to save £20 million a year.

These job cuts were called "streamlining" and covered workers at its head office and supply chain, not in-store.

n Tesco and Asda employ about 20 senior managers at each of their stores, compared to 32 at Sainsbury.

Tesco is the market leader and Asda, part of the US retail giant Wal-Mart is rapidly gaining pace on Sainsbury to become number two.

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