Yorkshire-based supermarket chain William Morrison is to sack 215 clerical workers and transfer 145 jobs to India to cut costs - despite making profits of nearly £1 billion a year.
The retailer, whose headquarters are in Bradford, stunned staff in its payroll and associated departments with the announcement on Thursday.
The company, which is fourth behind Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's in annual supermarket sales, announced an underlying profit of £445 million in the six months to July - £5m higher than the most optimistic analysts' expectations.
Work is to be transferred to outsourcing firm Wipro, which will move 145 jobs to India and employ just 20 people in Bradford.
Some workers may be redeployed.
Workers leaving its headquarters at Thornbury in Bradford after hearing the news were visibly distressed.
One said they were "devastated."
Morrisons said it had begun a 90-day consultation procedure on the move, which was intended to "improve efficiency."
Because some new jobs will be created in the shake-up the overall job loss will be 145.
The firm employs 6,000 people in Bradford out of a workforce of more than 120,000.
It said in a statement that it would seek to redeploy staff.
While Morrisons supermarket workers are organised in union Usdaw, the clerical staff are not thought to be organised.
An Usdaw spokesman said: "We are aware of the situation and are in contact with the company to explore whether there will be a knock-on effect on our members."
Bradford has a record of higher unemployment than many other British cities.
The city was built on textiles, and suffered enormously through the decline in the industry in the 1960s and 1970s.
Morrisons began life in 1899 as a stall in Bradford market selling eggs and butter run by William Morrison.
It opened a town centre shops in 1958 and its first supermarket in 1961.
It expanded rapidly under Ken Morrison, son of the founder.
Today it operates a chain of 400 supermarkets and has expanded from its northern base to other parts of the country.
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