US retail chain Supervalu Inc is to reduce its workforce by around 800 staff in a bid to accelerate a turnaround of the business.

The retailer said today (7 February), that the reductions will include both current positions and open jobs that will not be filled. Cuts are expected to be made by 25 February, the close of the company’s fiscal year.

The reductions, Supervalu said, continue its strategic plan to “remove permanent expenses” from its business, in addition to reducing overall operating costs.
The cuts will affect all company offices and crosses most departments within the organisation.

“These reductions are necessary to help further strengthen and accelerate Supervalu’s business turnaround in a very competitive marketplace,” said Supervalu CEO and president Craig Herkert.

“While the announcement of a workforce reduction is difficult news to share, due to its direct impact on our associates, these changes will allow us to better connect with customers and put more authority in the hands of people who interact more closely with our customers.”

Last month, Supervalu recorded a third-quarter loss of $750m, compared to net income of $202m a year earlier due in part to more charges in that quarter.

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In the previous quarter, the company, however, had seen net earnings rise slightly to $60m. In the first-quarter, cost cutting had helped the retailer offset a drop in sales and record a 10.4% increase in profits.