The retailer is consulting with staff over plans that will see the number of senior in-store posts slimmed down and replaced with fewer management roles.
Affected staff, thought to run into the thousands, will be given the choice of applying for the new roles, accepting a more junior position or facing redundancy consultation.
Sainsbury’s said the changes at both its supermarkets and convenience stores are ‘designed to meet the challenges of today’s retail environment’ and will result in more ‘efficient’ structure.
Simon Roberts, the supermarket’s retail and operations director of Sainsbury’s, insisted that the ‘intention is not to reduce overall headcount’.
He added: ‘We’re proposing a store management structure that will deliver best-in-class leadership and, in many cases, will offer an improved reward package for new management roles.
‘The proposals will introduce a more efficient and effective structure, designed to meet the challenges of today’s retail environment.
‘They will deliver cost savings to be invested in our customer offer and in our colleagues as they continue to provide the very best service for our customers.’
The news comes just a day after rival Tesco said it would axe 1,700 shop floor jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Asda, another Big Four player, has also announced swingeing cuts recently. Sainsbury’s is undergoing a major cost-cutting drive as it struggles amid a brutal price war that has engulfed a sector also reeling under inflationary pressures and diminished consumer spending power.
Late last year it announced that it was axing 2,000 jobs, mainly from human resources and payroll staff, adding to 1,000 head office job cuts in August, as part of efforts to cut another £500m of costs.
Earlier this month Sainsbury’s warned of a challenging market amid weaker sales at Argos, which it acquired in 2016.