The Co-op to axe 400 head office jobs due to ‘tough trading environment’

The Co-op will be making around 400 head office roles redundant due to the current “tough trading environment”.

Most of the redundancies are expected to be made from within the retailer’s 4,000-strong customer support centre team, which is based at its Angel Square headquarters in Manchester.

A spokesperson for the supermarket blamed rising inflation and the ongoing trading environment for the need to take action, but added that the move was “the right thing to do for the long-term health of our Co-op”.

At our last set of annual results, we shared that as part of our strategy, making our Co-op more efficient and cost-effective was a priority,” they revealed.

“The tough trading environment, including rising inflation, means we have taken the difficult decision to bring forward some of the changes we had planned for 2023.”

READ MORE: Co-op launches ‘walking deliveries’ from 200 stores 

“These changes, designed to simplify our approach to business, will sadly mean a number of colleagues in central functions will leave the business. There are no changes to customer-facing roles in our food stores and funeral homes and, where possible, we will reduce roles by not filling vacancies and through preferences to exit.

“We make these changes with a heavy heart, but it is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our Co-op and for all of our members.”

Outside of this process, the Co-op also expects to continue to recruit additional colleagues into other customer-facing areas across its food businesses.

At the same time, convenience store retailer and wholesaler Nisa, owned by the Co-op, is beginning a review that could lead to redundancies across the business as it looks to get a grip on surging costs.

A spokeswoman said: “We are carrying out a review to lower our costs, in order to offer greater support to our partners and their customers during the current cost-of-living crisis.

“Unfortunately, the review will include a consultation on potential redundancy for some employees. We recognise this is a difficult time for so many and we are seeking to approach the review accordingly while recognising the realities of the current economic climate.”e realities of the current economic climate.”

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