Two hundred in-store Sainsbury’s cafes are set to close putting as many as 2,000 workers at risk of losing their jobs.
Staff were told on Tuesday 1 March that the closures would be as soon as the spring, with 67 cafes staying open but under review.
It comes as part of a wider shake up to reduce costs and transform its dining, takeaway and home delivery services.
What will the cafes be replaced with?
To replace the cafes, Sainsbury’s has proposed to open 30 new restaurant hubs in its stores in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group - which owns chains such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Carluccio’s.
This follows a successful trial partnership at the Selly Oak branch in Birmingham.
The supermarket chain has also proposed 30 Starbucks sites in stores as part of a plan to roll out its dining offering in 250 stores over the next three years.
What has Sainsbury’s said?
On Tuesday 1 March bosses said around 2,000 workers have been placed on consultation.
Colleagues affected will be prioritised for vacant roles in Sainsbury’s stores and will be encouraged to explore alternative roles within the wider business, a statement said.
The retailer also confirmed the closure of further hot food counters and changes to bakery operations at some sites.
It did not specify the number of jobs impacted but the move comes after previous cuts in these areas.
Chief executive Simon Roberts said: "We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and we are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain period."
“Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices.”
He added: “We are totally focused on improving what we can deliver for our customers and at the same time, working hard to make our business simpler.
“As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month."
What else has Sainsbury’s proposed?
The supermarket chain also announced plans to end its hot food range in 34 stores and ‘simplify’ its bakery counters in 54 stores.
These announcements come following Sainsbury’s many changes last year which put workers’ jobs at risk.
In November 2020 it cut around 3,500 jobs due to the closure of fresh meat and fish counters.
While in April 2021 the group announced 1,200 jobs were at risk from plans to stop baking products in some stores.
Sainsbury’s already cut 1,150 jobs after a restructure last March.
The move affected 500 workers across commercial operations, HR, supply chain and logistics, technology, general merchandise and TU clothing.
The chain’s head office in Holburn, central London, had its space reduced by two floors.
This included the closure of its online fulfillment centre in Bromley-by-Bow, east London – affecting another 650 roles.
Which Sainsbury’s stores are closing its cafes?
Sainbury’s cafes at the following supermarkets will remain open.
If your store is not listed, it has been earmarked as one of the 200 cafes for closure.
Kings Lynn Hardwick
Thanet Westwood Cross
Wakefield - Marsh Way
Isle Of Wight