Sainsbury's will cut 500 jobs as part of a cost cutting exercise Reuters

Sainsbury's will cut 500 jobs after the supermarket announced sales had fallen by 1.7% in the 12 weeks to 4 January.

The UK's second biggest supermarket said the job losses were part of a streamlining of its central operations and hopes to save £500m.

The move comes as the big four supermarkets - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - continue to lose ground to discount grocers Aldi and Lidl.

Last week Tesco announced it would close 43 stores as well as its Cheshunt headquarters and sell assets including its Blinkbox streaming service and Dunnhumby data business. It hoped the closures and asset sales would save £250m.

In what has been a dark day for Britain's supermarkets, Morrisons chief Dalton Philips has stepped down.

Sales in the six weeks to 4 January fell 3.1% at the firm and its board has said it wants a return to growth under different leadership.

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