Tesco plans to shed more than 4,500 Metro staff

Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from the checkouts at larger UK stores 20 years ago, but for the first time they have been removed from checkouts at all stores, including Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores
Tesco Metro is set to lay off more than 4,000 UK staff

Tesco UK has annnounced significant changes to its Metro and Express store networks in the UK, which will lead to the retail giant shedding more than 4,000 staff.

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6 August 2019 | 0

Tesco in the UK has announced plans to cut an estimated 4,500 staff from its Metro and Express network, as intense competition in the grocery market forces a rethink of how the small supermarkets operate.

In a statement, the company said that the changes are aimed at serving shoppers better and running the business more sustainably in a “competitive and challenging retail environment”.

Broadly outlining the changes, Tesco said that it would be transitioning to “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; and leaner management structure, as we simplify our ways of working.”

What that sounds like is that it intends to follow the model employed by the German supermarkets, which save time and money by storing minimal stock and having staff hop on and off tills as and when they are required, rather than being stationed there.

The company also said that opening hours in some stores would be reviewed.

Jason Tarry, UK & ROI CEO, said that Tesco is determined to reflect the way its customers utilise the stores. “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,” Tarry said. “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 a statement, Tesco said its priority now is to support affected colleagues, helping find alternative roles within Tesco for as many as possible.

Tesco stores in Ireland are as yet unaffected by the announcement.

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