...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The BBC reports that Sainsbury plans to lay off some 2,000 people as a way of reducing costs in the face of heightened competition, especially from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

According to the story, Sainsbury “plans to make 1,400 payroll and HR clerks redundant and other changes could see another 600 posts removed … The majority of the headcount losses will be from within its supermarket stores.”

I feel like I am missing something here. How could they possibly have that many human resources people in stores? And if it indeed was necessary to have them, what impact will it have on customer-facing employees when these layoffs are instituted? Because if it results in the diminishing of the kinds of service that differentiates Sainsbury from Aldi and Lidl, this could be a decision in which the numbers seem logical but in the end simply don’t add up.


• The Austin Statesman reports that Aldi plans to open its first store in the Austin, Texas, market on November 2, in the town of Pflugerville. It will be Aldi’s sole Central Texas store for the time being.