Sainsbury’s is to close two Argos distribution depots, putting 1,400 people into consultation.
Warehouses in Basildon and Heywood are set to close in 2026 as part of a “modernisation” of its logistics network, which will see it consolidate Argos and Sainsbury’s general merchandise centres.
Staff impacted will be given the option to explore alternative roles across the two chains.
Sainsbury’s will also invest £90m to automate its Daventry warehouse, which will create “a simpler, more modern network” that will significantly improve availability, and enable faster customer deliveries.
At this stage it is not expected that the number of roles at Daventry will be affected.
It is the latest retailer to spend big on automation in its distribution centre. The Very Group moved to a brand new 850,000 sq ft automated warehouse, near Castle Donington, in Leicestershire in 2020.
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Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said the retailer had not taken “the difficult decision to start this consultation lightly”.
He said: “As part of our plan to create a simpler business, we previously set out our intention to integrate our Argos and Sainsbury’s logistics networks.
“Over the last few years, we’ve been working hard to transform this network as we make our business simpler, more efficient and more effective for customers. This also allows us to reduce costs, so we can invest where it will make the most impact for our customers.
“We understand that this will be an unsettling time for affected colleagues, and we will support them however we can throughout this process. We will be consulting closely with unions and colleagues as we look to streamline the number of sites in our general merchandise logistics network.”