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Tesco expects 4,500 store jobs to go as it adapts to ‘the way our customers are shopping’

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Tesco is set to cut its workforce by about 4,500 people as it makes changes to the way it staffs its shops, especially its Tesco Metro stores.

Tesco, the UK’s largest grocer and a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, says that its aim is to serve shoppers better, while tailoring its stores to the way that customers use them to buy, and running its business more sustainably in “an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment”. 

It says that while its 153 Metro format stores, located in urban centres, were designed for shoppers doing their weekly grocery shops, today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores and buy only for that day. 

Jason Tarry, chief executive, UK and Republic of Ireland at Tesco, said: “In a challenging, evolving retail environment with increasing cost pressures, we have to continue to review the way we run our stores to 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 says the jobs will go as it simplifies the way its Metro stores are run and as it makes changes at 134 Express stores. Changes in Metro stores will include taking stock straight to store shelves, storing less in back rooms, introducing a leaner management structure and flexible working focused on improving customer service at the busiest times of the day and in the areas of the store where they are most needed. 

In 134 of its 1,750 Express stores, where customer footfall is lower, opening times will be reduced at quieter periods at the beginning and the end of the day. Here again it is looking to simplify the way stock is added to shelves. Localised changes in large stores will include simpler approaches to shelf-filling and moving stock around the store.

Tesco says it will support staff that are affected and hopes to find alternative roles within the business for as many as possible. 

Image courtesy of Tesco

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