Tesco to axe 4,500 staff as it reorganises Metro stores

UK retailer Tesco is to axe 4,500 jobs as it makes Metro stores more like convenience stores that are better suited to shoppers buying food for that day rather than doing a weekly shop.

An annoucement from the company today said it was making operational changes to its 153-strong Tesco Metro estate, in order to simplify the operation of the stores and tailor them to the ways its customers use them.

It said the Metro format had been designed to cater for customers doing larger, weekly shops, but that nearly 70% of customers now use them as to buy food and drink for that day instead.

Changes being made will include a “leaner” management system, greater flexibility of staff at the busiest times of the day,  simplier ways to fill shelves, cutting the amount of products stored in back rooms and putting more stock direclty onto the shop floor.

“These changes will allow us to serve shoppers better and to run our business more sustainably, in an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment. Importantly, they will also allow us to better align the way we run our stores to the way that customers are shopping in them,” it said.

It is also reducing the opening hours and simplifying stock routines in 134 of Tesco Express that have the least footfall, it said, as well as streamlining some ‘operational and stock routines’ in larger store.

“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,” UK & ROI CEO Jason Tarry said. 

It said around 4,500 staff would be affected, but a priority twas to support those affected and find alternative roles within Tesco for as many of them as possible.

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