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UK retailer J Sainsbury looks to cut 2,000 jobs

© AFP/File | The job cuts are aimed at saving £500 million ($659 million; 560 million euros) over the next three years

LONDON (AFP) - 

British retailer J Sainsbury has launched a consultation over cutting 2,000 jobs, amid an ongoing cost-cutting plan over the next three years, the group announced on Tuesday.

The company is proposing shedding 1,400 staff from its Sainsbury's grocery stores, and consolidating other roles across its entire operations -- which also include catalogue-based retailer Argos and Sainsbury's Bank -- resulting in another 600 potential job losses.

"This has been a difficult decision and we appreciate that this will be a tough time for those colleagues affected by the changes," a Sainsbury's spokeswoman said.

"We will support them in any way we can."

J Sainsbury employs around 195,000 staff across Britain, with more than 2,200 retail outlets.

The cuts are aimed at saving £500 million ($659 million; 560 million euros) over the next three years.

The spokeswoman added that Britain's grocery market was changing rapidly and the group needed to "transform" the way it operated.

It had decided on the cuts after "a comprehensive review".

"We are proposing some updates to our HR structures and systems, as well as changes to a number of other support roles, subject to consultation," she said.

The company will consult with the employees identified for redundancy over a 45-day period, before implementing the plans.

© 2017 AFP