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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July, 2005, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Asda planning to shed 1,000 jobs
Asda supermarket trollies
Asda is the UK's second largest supermarket
Asda has said that it expects to cut 1,000 jobs as part of a review of its staffing levels.

A total of 185 management posts are to go at its main head office in Leeds and 15 at its second centre in Lutterworth.

A further four to five management positions are to go at each store, affecting 1,200 people, but the company expects 400 of these to be redeployed.

Asda, the UK's second largest supermarket, is owned by US giant Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.

'Right thing'

The job cuts were part of "a number of wide-ranging changes designed to simplify, re-focus and re-energise the business for future success", said Asda in a statement.

While our sales have slowed in recent months as the economy's tightened, ASDA is no retail straggler
Asda boss Andy Bond

Asda chief executive Andy Bond added that the changes were designed to "re-ignite our business over the next 12 to 18 months".

"Whilst it's the right thing to do for our business, we say goodbye to some great colleagues this week and I thank them for all they have done for ASDA," he said.

"While our sales have slowed in recent months as the economy's tightened, ASDA is no retail straggler."

Neil Derrick from the GMB union in Leeds said there had been insufficient consultation with staff over the job cuts.

He said junior managers in particular had "certainly [been] left feeling that they have been treated without the respect they deserve".

Asda today employs 140,000 people, but has recently lost ground to Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket.

It has also been affected by a resurgence at number three supermarket Sainsbury's.

New board

In addition to the job cuts, Asda also announced on Tuesday that two former directors are to rejoin its board.

David Cheesewright is to take on responsibility for trading and logistics following his return from a 12-month attachment as chief operating officer for parent company Wal-Mart in Canada.

And Andy Clarke is to return to Asda after a three-year gap to be retail director, the position he left in 2002 to work at Matalan and Iceland.

Founded in 1965, and bought by Wal-Mart in 1999, Asda now has 279 supermarkets across the UK.

In addition it has nine stand-alone stores of its George clothing subsidiary, and three Asda Living general merchandise outlets.

While Asda is headquartered in Leeds, George is based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, where 15 positions are to go.

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