UK supermarket Sainsbury’s is clearing finding the Coronavirus pandemic financially straining, as it’s having to cut upwards of 3,500 jobs.
The supermarket is doing this with the closure of its meat, fish and deli counters, as well as the complete removal of its Argos counterpart.
Despite being marked as an essential shop and being able to remain open throughout lockdown, Sainsbury’s have reported losses of around £137 million so far this year.
Business clearly isn’t running as usual and the supermarket chain is finding this new pandemic environment a difficult one to face financially. These losses have unfortunately lead to cutbacks being introduced, which will risk 3,500 jobs and countless stores.
Argos is owned by Sainsbury’s, which it bought for £1.4 billion back in 2016. That is why over the past few years you have likely seen many Argos outlets located within Sainsbury’s supermarket stores. Although, up until this point there have been 420 standalone Argos stores, but it has been declared that these are all set to close by 2024. This plan will get underway immediately with may set to never be reopening after this current UK lockdown.
This will undoubtedly lead to a massive amount of job losses, which is something no company ever really wants to implement, though the supermarket business is facing an exceptionally tough time at the moment. This is obviously due to the massive impact of COVID-19.
The ever-changing market
Sainsbury’s is now looking to expand its digital market and place an added focus into its online proceedingswithin the overall business. It’ll be looking to drive more sales through its online website and services and add further, extensive delivery options and methods to its current digital counterpart. The future of the Argos brand however, continues to look rather bleak and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that particular business model fade away over the next few years.
The issue with the Argos business model is that people don’t necessarily want to shop that way anymore; it has become a rather outdated method of shopping. With the introduction and constant rise of online retailers, such as Amazon, the gap in the market for a business like Argos, which is essentially a click and collect service, is starting to decrease in size.
In regards to Sainsbury’s itself, it will simply have to face the fact that the online food shop is now the new normal. There are no signs of the public changing their ways when it comes to our heavy use of online shopping. The threat of the Covid-19 disease is one thing keeping us ordering our weekly goods from an online website, but the convenience of having them delivered is something that’s turning people on to the idea more and more.
This has marked a turning point for the way many of use utilise supermarkets, and thus a large number of people are preferring to buy their items online, from the comfort of their own homes. This means that even once the pandemic finally comes to an end and it is officially safe for us to return completely back to normal once again, those that have become accustomed to food shopping online by that time will likely just continue to do so.
The number of online food shoppers is on the rise and we do not see it showing any signs of slowing down at all. Once the public gets used to doing something a certain way, they find it difficult to revert back to the older style, hence the difficulty some have had with getting accustomed to the national lockdown rules and social distancing.
Facing a job loss? You still have options
If you’re reading this article from the perspective of someone that has faced recent redundancy, or are suddenly filled with job insecurities, it’s important to assess your options. This doesn’t have to be the end of your career, but merely a turning point. You have different paths you can now travel down, so collect your redundancy pay and contact the relevant recruitment agencies to revitalize your career.
Online recruitment is often a successful way to restart your career. Websites such as Indeed allow you enter keywords of positions you’d like to find and apply for. Having a LinkedIn profile is another way of communicating with potential employers. By using the ‘job search’ feature on LinkedIn, you can view positions relevant to your line of work, allowing you to see what kind of employers there are near your location.
Social media can be a beneficial method of job searching. More job boards than ever before now choose to have a social media presence, allowing them to get a closer insight into the type of candidate they’re looking for. This is why it’s important to keep up appearances across your social accounts. Don’t post stuff on their that you wouldn’t want future employers to see.
Keep your CV up to date. The experience gained from the position you’re facing redundancy from will likely be key in gaining your next role at a new company. Glassdoor advises, “Remember that a quality CV is succinct and tailored to the precise role. Be selective about which details to include and then ask yourself: Does this highlight the best of my work and what I have to offer?”
Target recruitment consultancies when looking to reboot your work life. These consultants will be tasked with headhunting new workers and finding ideal candidates to fill a void in workplaces. Try to obtain the email addresses of people such as these and give yourself the insider knowledge that may lend you the upper-hand when talking to recruiters.
Facing unemployment in a crisis
At the start of this year, The Independent reported that, “The UK workforce is in “crisis”, with more than half considering finding a new job this year and two-thirds dreading returning to work after a weekend break. One in four are actively looking for a new job and the number of people unhappy at work has risen 10 per cent in the past year, according to a survey of 12,000 people by Investors in People. The accreditation organisation found that three out of four people felt stressed about work, with 64 per cent reporting that their job had negatively affected their sleep patterns”.
Imagine the impact that Covid-19 has had on us since then, we’re likely much more grateful for our jobs now and value them much more. This is something that could eventually be good for us, though many of us are searching for new methods of employment now, as we’re all struggling to get by during this current crisis. It is important to keep in mind that there are many others in the same position as you, it isn’t something you’re facing alone.
Sainsbury’s, a major British supermarket chain, has announced plans to cut jobs and shut down some of its Argos stores. The company stated that the decision was made as part of a wider strategy to streamline its operations and focus on its core business of grocery retail.
The job cuts are expected to affect both store-level and head office employees, and the closures of Argos stores will result in the loss of additional jobs. The company has not yet announced the specific number of jobs that will be cut or the locations of the stores that will be closed.
This news has sparked concern among employees and customers, as many have expressed disappointment at the loss of jobs and the closure of popular retail outlets.
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.