Tesco is to axe 4,500 jobs across its smaller Metro stores in a move that aims to "simplify store operations" and "serve shoppers better".
Staff in 153 Metro stores are set to be made redundant as the supermarket chain makes changes to improve the running of its stores, amid a challenging retail environment.
The UK's largest grocer said the job cuts come as it works to change the running of its Metro stores across the UK, with a focus on improving operations to better serve shoppers.
Tesco aims to simplify and reduce processes and administrative tasks in all of its Metro stores in an effort to run its business more sustainably, in what is an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment.
In a statement, Tesco said, "The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop.
"The Metro format was originally designed for lager, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 per cent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.
"We are therefore simplifying the way we run our Metro stores, with changes including:
- Faster and simpler ways of filling shelves, with fewer products stored in back rooms and more stock going straight to the shop floor;
- Colleagues working more flexibly across the store to improve customer service at the busiest times of the day and in the right areas of the store; and
- A leaner management structure, as we simplify our ways of working."
Increasing cost pressures
Tesco announced it will also be making some changes in 134 of its 1,750 Express stores, where customer footfall is lower.
Changes in these stores will include a slight reduction in opening hours during quieter trading periods at the start and end of the day, and simplifying stock routines.
There will also be some localised changes in some large stores, including processes for moving stock around the store and filling shelves.
Tesco said its priority now is to support colleagues who will be affected by the changes, helping to find alternative roles within the business for as many as possible. However, it confirmed that the changes will lead to an overall reduction of around 4,500 staff.
Jason Tarry, UK and ROI CEO, said, "In a challenging, evolving retail environment, with increasing cost pressures, we have to continue to review the way we run our stores to ensure we reflect the way our customers are shopping and do so in the most efficient way.
"We do not take any decision which impacts colleagues lightly, but have to make sure we remain relevant for customers and operate a sustainable business now and in the future."