‘Big Four’ grocer Tesco has announced it is to cut 4,500 jobs from its Metro stores across the UK.
The job cuts come as part of the supermarket’s plans to “simplify and reduce processes and administrative tasks” across all of its 153 Metro stores.
The company said the format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.
Tesco, which employs around 340,000 people in the UK, said the changes 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.
- Colleagues working more flexibly across the store to improve customer service at the busiest times of the day and in the right areas of the store.
- A leaner management structure, as we simplify our ways of working.
Tesco added this will allow it “to serve shoppers better and to run our business more sustainably, in an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment”.
Additionally, the company revealed it is also making “small changes” to 134 of its 1,750 Express stores, where customer footfall is lower. Changes in these stores will include a “slight reduction” in opening hours during quieter trading periods at the start and end of the day, and simplifying stock routines.
Jason Tarry, UK and ROI CEO, 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.”
In June, Tesco reported Q1 like-for-like sales growth of 0.2% attributed to what it calls a “subdued” UK market.
For the 13 week period ending 25 May 2019, group sales reached £13.9bn. In the UK the Big Four grocer saw like-for-like sales increase by 0.2% to £9.1bn. Despite the slowdown Tesco said it “outperformed” in both sales and volume terms as it made further investments in range, price and loyalty.