A total of 420 standalone Argos stores are to be closed by March 2024, the super market giant and owner of the Argos store brand, Sainsbury’s has confirmed, amid news that it is to cut 3,500 jobs across its portfolio.
The retail giant’s boss Simon Roberts said that the move was Sainsbury’s response to changing consumer habits and the growth of online shopping. Amid the closures will be all of Sainsbury’s meat, fish and deli counters owing to lower customer demand and a desire to cut food waste.
Of its Argos portfolio, the grocer has stated that 150 outlets will be opened within its supermarkets, but that by the end of its restructuring, which will see the permanent closure of 420 standalone outlets, its total number of Argos stores will be around 100. The restructuring will save about £600 million by 2024, the firm said.
Sainsbury’s suffered a £137 million loss in its half-year results, a dive it has blamed on closures and market changes.
The company, which bough Argos in 2016, said in its statement that the 120 standalone Argos stores that had not reopened since they were closed in March would now be shut permanently.
In addition to the 150 Argos stores it plans to open in its supermarkets by 2024, it also plans a further 150-200 collection points.
“We are talking to colleagues today about where the changes we are announcing in Argos standalone stores and food counters impact their roles,” said Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive.
“We will work really hard to find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible and expect to be able to offer alternative roles for the majority of impacted colleagues.”
He said the aim was to make Argos “a simpler, more efficient and more profitable business”. Products from the Habitat brand will also be more widely available in the stores and via Argos.
“Our other brands – Argos, Habitat, Tu, Nectar and Sainsbury’s Bank – must deliver for their customers and for our shareholders in their own right,” he said.
Despite the cutting of the 3,500 roles, the supermarket expects that it will have created about 6,000 net new jobs by the end of the year.