Sainsbury’s is planning to axe 500 roles as part of its strategic review announced in November last year.

The retailer said the job losses followed a “thorough review of our central costs and structures”, through which “each member of the operating board has looked at their division in great detail with the objective of reducing costs, while at the same time making sure we remain focused on doing the right things for our customers.”

As a result, Sainsbury’s said it was proposing to streamline its central divisions and bring its supermarkets and convenience businesses together. A formal consultation started today and it expects the new structures to be in place by the start of the 2015/16 financial year.

“Some functions will be losing colleagues and others will be taking more on, with the expectation of around 500 fewer roles, spread across all divisions and grades in our store support centres,” it said in a statement.

In a letter to staff, CEO Mike Coupe added: “We want to work through this period of uncertainty as quickly as possible, while making sure we consult with colleagues who are affected by these changes. We’re committed to treating all impacted colleagues with respect, during what we know will be a difficult time.

“I recognise that these changes will be difficult for our colleagues and I can assure you the decision to make them was not taken lightly.  However, I’m certain that we will be in a stronger position to deliver our new strategy and better equipped to win in these times of change as a result.”

Sainsbury’s revealed its strategic review in November but at the time would not say whether the changes would result in job losses. The review looked at all areas of the Sainsbury’s business, including cutting back on store openings, lowering prices and improving the quality of its own-label products.