Asda plans to close hubs and expand ‘in-store pick’
09 March 2021
The supermarket has announced plans to serve the increasing number of customers shopping online by expanding its ‘in-store pick’ model – projecting the creation of 4,500 new roles in store-based online operations across the country.
Asda’s consultation proposes the closure of the Dartford and Heston regional delivery hubs, impacting circa 800 colleagues.
Asda plans that future online orders in the South will be picked from local stores to deliver improved levels of availability, capacity and service.
Moving to store picking would create greater capacity and improve slot availability, increasing opportunities for customers to utilise same day delivery, express one-hour collection and Uber Eats delivery, says the grocer.
Asda has increased its online capacity by 90% since last March to 850,000 weekly slots and remains on course to fulfil one million orders per week by the end of the year.
Consultation proposals cover:
• The proposed realignment of some store-level management roles, with deputy store manager and section leader roles replaced by two new roles – Operations Manager and Online Trading Manager, reflecting the significant volume of orders now picked from stores. These proposals impact circa 1,100 colleagues and if enacted would see an overall increase in headcount in store-level management roles across the business.
• Proposals to simplify ways of working across ‘back office’ store functions with cash office, administration, people and training tasks proposed to be completed by one multi-skilled back office colleague, potentially impacting circa 3,000 colleagues. The proposals include training colleagues so they could complete multiple back office tasks using new technology and processes that are more relevant due to a reduction in cash handling.
The business will now enter formal consultations with around 5,000 colleagues potentially impacted by the proposals out of a total workforce of 145,000. If the proposals are enacted, the priority will be to move as many colleagues as possible into alternative roles within Asda, with redundancy the last option.
On February 16, The Issa brothers, founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn, and investment funds managed by TDR Capital, a UK-based private equity firm, have completed the acquisition of Asda, Walmart’s wholly-owned UK business, for an enterprise value of £6.8 billion, on a debt-free and cash-free basis. Walmart has retained an equity investment in the business.