UK grocer Sainsbury's has announced it is creating 150 new digital and technology jobs in Manchester over the next 18 months.

Building a strong in-house digital and technology team is a core part of the retailer's current strategy, and the decision to bring 150 new jobs to its Store Support Centre in Manchester's Arndale Centre comes after it created 480 digital and technology jobs in London and Coventry over the past year.

Sainsbury's is on the search for agile coaches, software developers and software development managers, as well as DevOps engineers. The new recruits will work as part of the grocer's 900 strong digital and technology team on a wide range of projects, including development of websites and apps and monitoring of infrastructure and core business systems.

Jon Rudoe, digital & technology director at Sainsbury's, commented: "Our vision is for Sainsbury's to have a world-class digital and technology function to ensure that we can deliver great services for our customers whenever and wherever  they want to shop with us.

"This announcement demonstrates our commitment to that goal and to attracting the best talent in this ever developing sector. As Manchester is the UK's second largest technology hub, it's a natural step for us to recruit here."

Although Sainsbury's has this week announced the creation of jobs it has also been overseeing hundreds of job losses in its head office and across its operations, in recent months. The business is looking to reduce running costs and boost its bottom line, while at the same time battling strong competition in the sector.

Earlier this month, the grocer said it was removing the "store trainer" role, which is currently held by 870 employees. In its place, Sainsbury's is creating 280 more senior "learning and development" jobs, which effectively puts around 600 jobs at risk.

Plans are being made to re-deploy staff, but the move – much like today's announcement about the Manchester jobs – is indicative of how fast-changing customer preferences are driving retailers to reshape their workforces.