Sainsbury has backtracked on a decision last year to centralise its convenience operations in the north east of England, with the relocation of its trading teams to its London headquarters.

The national trading and marketing teams of Jacksons and Bells will move from the Hull base, where Jacksons had traditionally operated from, in an effort to cut costs and "simplify processes", said a spokeswoman.

Convenience MD Jim McCarthy, who is leaving the retailer in September to join Poundland as chief executive, said this was the final phase in repositioning its northern business in an effort to "meet future business requirements". About 100 jobs could be at risk from the restructure, although transfers will be available. A new Hull office will also be set up for Jacksons&' retail operations team and a regional finance unit, while an equivalent team will be based in Skelton, Teeside, for Bells&' operations. Angus Oughtred, MD of Jacksons and Bells, said he had been meeting with staff at both chains to explain the time­scales and how they would be affected individually.

However, the restructuring does include the opening of a new composite distribution centre in Maltby, Yorkshire, to replace its site in Melton. It will serve the Jacksons chain and be run by logistics firm Wincanton, which will also take over the running of Bells&' supply chain operation in Skelton.

In addition, Jacksons and Bells will transfer onto Sainsbury&'s integrated IT systems, which will align finance, admin and IT processes, and transfer to the Holborn HQ in central London.

The changes would provide additional supply capacity and more effective store support infrastructure with which to expand its convenience division, said the spokeswoman. It would also help put it on track to achieve the £400m of extra sales from convenience that chief executive Justin King has said it must reach by March 2008.
Rachel Barnes