Monday 5 August 2019 2:44 pm

Tesco Metro prepares to slash 4,500 jobs

Tesco is set to slash around 4,500 jobs across all of its 153 Metro stores, the company announced today as it battles with a tough retail environment.

The cutbacks will reduce processes and administrative tasks across the stores, it said.

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It comes after the company found that 70 per cent of customers use the Metro stores, which were designed for the weekly shop, as daily, convenience stores.

The changes will mean each store will carry fewer products in the back rooms, and start filling shelves in faster and simpler ways. Staff will also have to work flexibly across all areas of the store to focus resources, the company said in a statement.

It also promised a “leaner management structure”.

The firm also said it would reduce opening hours and simplify stock routines during quieter trading periods at 134 of its 1,750 express stores, where customer footfall is lower.

“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,” said UK and Ireland chief executive Jason Terry.

“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.”

The retailer – which is the UK’s largest private sector employer – put 9,000 jobs at risk earlier this year when it removed fresh meat, fish and delicatessen counters from its larger stores.

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Shopworker’s union Usdaw called on the government to “tackle the crisis in retail”.

Usdaw national officer Pauline Foulkes said: “This issue is not confined to Tesco, our high streets are in crisis, with jobs being lost due to shops closing, retailers folding and businesses engaging in significant restructuring to survive. We need the government to address the worries and concerns of shopworkers and our members.”