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Asda not ruling out redundancies at worst-performing stores, including Broadstairs

By Chris Price

Asda has not ruled out redundancies at 18 of its worst-performing stores – including one in Kent.

The supermarket is carrying out consultations about staff hours in the shops, which employ 3,250 people, including its outlet in Broadstairs.

Staffing arrangements are also being weighed up at another 59 stores.

Asda has 14 stores in Kent

Asda has 14 stores in Kent

It comes as the supermarket posted its worst annual figures last week since it was bought by US giant Walmart in 1999.

The Broadstairs store employs 305 people, of which 30 have been told they are at risk of redundancy.

The consultation is expected to lead to a handful of job losses at the Westwood Road outlet.

The staff consultations come as more shoppers choose to buy their big shops online and more people use the self-service tills for smaller purchases.

A spokesperson said: “It is common practice for a supermarket to need to make changes to hours based on the changing shopping habits of customers, and as ever we’ll work with our colleagues to try and find the right way to ensure we have the right people, in the right place at the right time for our customers.

"It is common practice for a supermarket to need to make changes to hours based on the changing shopping habits of customers, and as ever we’ll work with our colleagues to try and find the right way to ensure we have the right people, in the right place at the right time for our customers..." - Asda spokesperson

“We understand that any conversations about change are unsettling but it is always our upmost priority to find alternative roles or working patterns for impacted colleagues.”

Asda’s latest accounts show its revenues were down 3% to £21.7 billion last year, while operating profit decreased by 19% to £845.3 million.

It said like-for-like sales were down 5.7% while its underlying operating profit fell by 11.5%.

The accounts, filed at Companies House, say the results for 2016 were “behind expectations”.

Bosses said Asda has focused on improving its performance through strengthening its price proposition, developing a “trusted” online offer, as well as delivering a low cost operating model.

Later this month, Walmart will report its earnings for the second quarter of 2017, including Asda.

Its first quarter sales were down 2.8%.

Chief executive and president Sean Clarke, who took the helm in July last year, said he was pleased with the “continued momentum” in the business.

He added the company is “in no way complacent” and “there is still much for us to do.”

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