UK retailer Sainsbury’s has announced that it has started a programme that aims to install a “more efficient way” of freshly baking products in-store while reducing around 1,500 jobs as part of its ‘Save and invest to win’ programme.

The supermarket has outlined proposals to adapt the business, including simplifying Sainsbury’s Store Support Centre structure, creating “more efficient” Contact Centre operations, consolidating its general merchandise fulfilment network and improving its bakery offer and availability in stores.

It said it has “already started a programme to move stores to a more efficient way of freshly baking products in-store”, and Sainsbury’s intends to move more stores to this model. The supermarket said this would provide customers with “tastier, more distinctive products which are consistently great quality”, highlighting product availability throughout the day.

As a result, Sainsbury’s intends to conduct a consultancy process with bakers in the selected stores, and reassured affected colleagues that it will find alternative roles for them “where possible”.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our Next Level Sainsbury’s strategy is about giving customers more of what they come to Sainsbury’s for – outstanding value, unbeatable quality food and great service.

“One of the ways we’re going to deliver on this promise is through our Save and Invest to Win programme.

“As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult, but necessary decisions. The proposals we’ve been talking to teams about today are important to ensure we’re better set up to focus on the things that create a real impact for our customers, delivering good food for all of us and building a platform for growth.

“I know today’s news is unsettling for affected colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them.”