Sainsbury’s has teamed up with shrinkage specialists Checkpoint Systems to slash levels of loss, wastage and boost availability.

According to the ECR shrink & on-shelf availability group, a research project supported by Checkpoint Systems, grocery retailers across Europe could save £300m every year by improving employee engagement.

The study interviewed 200,000 members of staff to explore the relationship between employee engagement and four indicators of retail loss: shrinkage, waste, cash loss and lost sales driven by poor availability.

It said 25% of stores with the lowest levels of employee engagement could achieve a 19.6% reduction in lost profits from availability, 12.5% less shrinkage, a 9.8% reduction in waste, and a 9.5% saving in cash loss if they brought engagement levels up to speed.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s, which employs 161,000 staff in 1,200 stores, said the partnership had resulted in “strategic and tactical changes to the management of loss” at the supermarket.

She added Sainsbury’s was working with ECR to “understand fully the correlation between colleague engagement and business performance.”

Professor Adrian Beck, who led the ECR study, said: “Employees play a critical role in ensuring retail losses are kept at a manageable level.

“The store manager is the lightning rod through which a company’s organisational ­culture is communicated to staff and therefore essential to improving - and maintaining - staff engagement.”