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Retail

Sainsbury's To Close 200 Cafes, Puts 2,000 Jobs At Risk

British supermarket group Sainsbury's has announced that it plans to close 200 in-store cafes next month, putting 2,000 jobs at risk as it brings in third-party providers instead.

The UK's second largest grocer after Tesco also said it would close hot food counters in 34 stores and simplify the way it runs its bakeries in another 54.

It said the impacted cafe staff will be prioritised for vacant roles in stores and will be encouraged to explore alternative roles within the wider business.

Sainsbury's said it aims to redeploy the affected staff on hot counters and bakeries.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive officer, said, “As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month. We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time.

“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.”

Boparan Restaurant Group

A deal with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) will see 30 more Restaurant Hubs open in Sainsbury's stores over the next year, following a successful trial at the group's Selly Oak store in Birmingham.

The hubs offer customers eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink from brands including Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens.

Sainsbury’s also plans to open a further 30 Starbucks coffee shops in its supermarkets over the next year, taking the total to 60.

'Working with BRG and Starbucks, Sainsbury’s plans to transform the eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink offer in 250 of its supermarkets over the next three years,' it said.

Sainsbury's raised its full-year profit forecast in January. However, monthly industry data has shown its sales growth lagging Tesco.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM – your source for the latest Retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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