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Morrisons to axe 3,000 manager roles to hire new shop floor staff

Edmund Heaphy
·Finance and news reporter
File photo dated 30/09/16 of a Morrisons store as the grocery chain has posted falling sales over the crucial festive season amid "unusually challenging" trading and shopper uncertainty.
Morrisons confirmed management shake-up plans on Thursday. Photo: PA

Morrisons (MRW.L) on Thursday confirmed that it would axe 3,000 manager roles as part of a shake-up that will create 4,000 new shop floor jobs at the supermarket.

The move is being made to “serve customers better,” Morrisons said.

“Whilst there will be a short period of uncertainty for some managers affected by these proposals we will be supporting them through this process and there are jobs available for everybody who wants to continue to work at Morrisons,” said retail director David Lepley.

READ MORE: Sainsbury's and Argos set to slash hundreds of jobs

“There will also be more roles with greater flexibility that are very attractive to colleagues with families.”

The supermarket said that the managers who retain their jobs will “concentrate on helping frontline colleagues to do their job and run their stores.”

“Many of the new jobs will be on Morrisons renowned Market Street counters where skilled butchers, bakers, fishmongers, and other fresh food specialists serve customers.”

The announcement comes after Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and Argos earlier this week said they would slash hundreds of office jobs. The supermarket acquired the catalogue retailer in 2016.

READ MORE: No Christmas or election boost as retail sales crash in December

Sainsbury’s said it had already trimmed its senior leadership ranks, with a steep drop in headcount of more than 20% since March last year.

The moves come as the retail sector experiences the longest stretch of weakness since sectoral records began in the 1970s.

December saw the fifth consecutive month of no growth in the retail sector. Sales volumes declined by 0.6%, far worse than expectations.

The drop-off was in large part driven by declines in food stores such as Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

Sales at food stores declined by 1.3% compared with November, the worst monthly decline since October 2015, while clothing sales fell by 2%.