Up to 4,500 staff across 153 Tesco Metro stores are set to lose their jobs in the latest round of redundancies at the UK's biggest supermarket chain.
Announcing the decision, Tesco (TSCO.L) CEO Jason Tarry 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.”
Tesco bosses plan to overhaul their Metro stores —the ones bigger than Express shops but smaller than larger supermarkets— and want to “simplify and reduce” stock lines in some places.
This, according to the Tesco statement, will include:
faster and simpler ways of filling shelves, with fewer products stored in back rooms and more stock going straight to the shop floor;
staff working more flexibly across the store to improve customer service at the busiest times of the day; and
a leaner management structure, and simpler ways of working
Stores “where customer footfall is lower” may also see a reduction in opening hours during quieter times, the company said.
Shares were down just over 1% on Monday after the news.
Tesco has recently celebrated its best Christmas sales since 2009. But like the rest of the supermarket industry and other bellweather UK retailers, it is under enormous pressure to retain market share, let alone continue to expand.