Asda plans to close its Enfield DC in North London, with up to 261 jobs at risk.

The supermarket chain, which is merging with Sainsbury’s, has entered into a consultation period with affected staff.

The site, which opened in 2010, delivers home shopping to 4,500 customers each week.

However, Asda has since opened automated DCs in London’s Heston (July 2017) and, two months ago, Dartford.

Simon Gregg, vice president of grocery home shopping at Asda, said: “In a competitive retail market, where customers rightly expect great value and ease of service, we are always looking at how we can improve our operations to meet their expectations.

“Despite great efforts by our colleagues at Enfield, restrictions on the site mean we are not able to make the necessary further improvements to meet the speed of fulfilment and product ranges that our customers now expect.

“Therefore, we’ve entered a consultation process with colleagues on proposals to close the facility.

“Our current proposals involve expanding capacity in our Heston centre and discussing options for colleagues to take on roles in other neighbouring stores. Whilst conversations about change are never easy, we would always work to find new opportunities for impacted colleagues, with redundancy as a last resort.”

Speaking to a select committee hearing in May about the merger itself, which is awaiting regulatory approval, Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe assured MPs that no DCs would be closed as a result of the union.

However, David Madden market analyst for CMC Markets UK, has previously warned that the supermarket groups’ supply chains would be likely targets for cuts.