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Britain’s Sainsbury’s to cut hundreds of management jobs

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Sainsbury’s <SBRY.L> plans to cut hundreds of management jobs as it seeks to bring its main supermarket operation and its Argos general merchandise arm closer together, it said on Tuesday.

It said the jobs would go in commercial, retail, finance, digital, technology and human resources functions. It did not give a precise figure.

Sainsbury’s also said that since the start of its 2019-20 financial year in March, its senior leadership team has been reduced by over 20%.

The group detailed a new strategy in September that was designed to show it could prosper on its own after a botched attempt to take over rival Asda <WMT.N> for 7.3 billion pounds ($9.5 billion).

The plan focused on cost cutting, paying off debt, more technology and further integrating the Argos business it purchased in 2016.

“We have to adapt to continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future and, while change can be hard, it’s also necessary,” Chief Executive Mike Coupe said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Sainsbury’s updated on sales in the key Christmas quarter. Core sales slipped as a drop in demand for toys and gaming eclipsed a solid performance in food.

Shares in Sainsbury’s were down 1% at 1553 GMT.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton and David Evans)