Canadian food retailer Sobeys cuts 800 jobs: media reports

(Reuters) - Food retailer Sobeys Inc, owned by Empire Company Ltd, is cutting more than 800 jobs across Canada, according to reports in the Canadian media.

The job cuts include about 20 percent of Sobeys’ staff across Canada, the Globe and Mail reported on Friday.

About 150 jobs will be lost in the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the company told CBC News.

Sobeys and Empire did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The move comes as part of a change in the company's operating model according to which the Sobeys' collection of five regional businesses will become one national organization, CBC News reported.

“We have a lot on our plates - we had to reorganize, we’re taking costs out so we can be efficient and compete,” said Empire Chief Executive Michael Medline in a statement cited in the Globe and Mail.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, Empire had launched a three-year transformation project to simplify its organization structure and cut costs.

The company had said it expected C$500 million ($393.42 million) in annualized cost savings by fiscal 2020 as a result of the plan called Project Sunrise.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Lisa Shumaker