E Point Perfect

Co-op Group to cut 400 jobs from head office

// Co-op Group to remove 400 jobs at Manchester head office
// Co-op employs more than 63,000 people including 4,000 at its head offices

The Co-op Group is scrapping 400 jobs at its Manchester head office as the company struggles with tough trading conditions.

Co-op, which employs more than 63,000 people including 4,000 at its head offices, warned in April of the impact of inflation on food supplies after annual profits more than halved amid supply chain disruption and higher staff wages.

The group owns funeral homes and insurance as well as supermarkets and saw profits were down 57% to £100 million in 2021 after stripping out a one-off £99 million gain relating to the sale of the Co-operative Bank in 2017.

READ MORE: Co-op Food boss: ‘Government must protect food security and provide cost-of-living help’

Sales at the group’s food business fell by 2% to £9.1 billion despite investing £140 million in opening 50 new stores and refitting 87 more, and spending £18 million on cutting prices.

Co-op chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq said that some food price increases were “inevitable” this year, but Co-op would try to reduce the impact on its customers, holding the price on 1,000 key items and adding 100 extra products to its budget range.

Co-op said: “We make these changes with a heavy heart, but it is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our Co-op and for all of our members.

“At our last set of annual results, we shared, that as part of our strategy, making our Co-op more efficient and cost-effective was a priority.

“The tough trading environment, including rising inflation, means we have taken the difficult decision to bring forward some of the changes we had planned for 2023.

“These changes, designed to simplify our approach to business, will sadly mean a number of colleagues in central functions will leave the business.”

Co-op said there would be no changes to customer-facing roles in its food stores or funeral homes. It will aim to reduce roles by not filling vacancies in preference to making redundancies.

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