More than 2,000 jobs set to go due to store changes
More than 2,000 roles are at risk at Tesco as it announces more changes to the way it runs its supermarkets. The grocer said it was planning to cut 1,750 team manager posts across hundreds of its larger stores, while closing roles elsewhere.
A new tier of 1,800 lower paid shift leader positions will take over running its shop floors. Tesco also announced it will close its counters and hot delis, with staff offered alternative jobs elsewhere.
Britain’s largest supermarket said the axing of its counter and delis from 26 February were due to lack of demand from customers. It is also closing eight pharmacies, moving overnight roles to daytime in 12 stores and reducing hours within some post offices.
The company said team managers who take new shift leader positions will have their pay protected for two years.
Similar changes have already happened at Tesco’s smaller stores, but the grocer is now implementing them at its larger superstores and Tesco Extra shops.
Daniel Adams, national officer of the Usdaw union, which represents Tesco workers, said the announcement would be “especially difficult” for staff in the midst of the rising cost of living.
“We will be doing all we can to support members throughout the process with a view to protecting jobs and, where this is not possible, securing the best possible deal for those affected,” he said. Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK and Ireland boss, said the decisions were “difficult”, but added they were “necessary to ensure we remain focused on delivering value for our customers wherever we can, as well as ensuring our store offer reflects what our customers value the most”.
“Our priority is to support those colleagues impacted and help find alternative roles within our business from the vacancies and newly created roles we have available,” he said. Alongside the planned team manager cuts, a further 350 jobs are at risk in a series of other changes at the company.
It is also cutting some jobs at its head office as well as closing its Maintenance National Operating Centre in Milton Keynes. Tesco said it was now entering a consultation period with the Usdaw union on the proposals and pointed out that it currently has about 2,000 vacancies across the business.
Bigger supermarkets are having to become more efficient and make savings as they face competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl. Last week, Asda, Britain’s third-largest grocer, said it planned to remove 211 night shift managers and change the hours of 4,137 workers. It followed similar changes to night time working at Sainsbury’s and Tesco.