The supermarket giant estimated that half of that number could be re-deployed to other customer-facing rolls across the business. The Mail on Sunday had previously reported how Tesco will be announcing changes that will affect over 700 stores. Tesco confirmed in a statement today that 90 stores will be shutting down their counters, while 700 will trade with either a full or flexible counter. The grocery giant said it also needed less staff for stock control, merchandising and at its head office.
This would mean a reduced workload with fewer hours available for shop floor staff, the company said.
Jason Tarry, CEO, UK & ROI said: “In our four years of turnaround we’ve made good progress, but the market is challenging and we need to continually adapt to remain competitive and respond to how customers want to shop.
“We’re making changes to our UK stores and head office to simplify what we do and how we do it, so we’re better able to meet the needs of our customers.
“This will impact some of our colleagues and our commitment is to minimise this as much as possible and support our colleagues throughout.”
Unions had earlier described the reported jobs cull as a “worrying time” for members employed by the supermarket.
Adrian Jones, national officer for retail distribution for Unite, said: “Our top priority this week is to arrange a meeting with Tesco’s management to get a clear picture of what the supermarket is planning.”
He added: “While the reports centre on job losses in store, such as the bakeries and deli counters, we still need to know what this could mean for our members.”
Unite represents 800 workers at four Tesco distribution centres.
Trade union Usdaw called the situation “distressing” for Tesco staff.
The union’s national officer, Pauline Foulkes, said: “Usdaw is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to clarify the situation, to examine the details of what changes they are proposing and what this means for staff.”
Chief operating officer Tony Hogett had earlier told staff in an internal company email on Sunday that “changes are still being finalised”, according to the BBC.
He is thought to have told employees: “We are committed to tell our colleagues first of any changes we make as we continue to refresh and simplify the way we serve customers in our stores.”
The supermarket chain reportedly wants to save £1.5 billion by 2020 as part of cost-reducing plans in a bid to make the grocery giant more profitable.
Tesco currently employs 324,000 across the UK and Ireland.
Express.co.uk has contacted Tesco for further comment.