Tesco announces 4,500 job cuts with focus on Metro stores

Tesco says it will focus on operational changes at its Metro stores

Tesco has announced job cuts of 4,500, mainly across its Metro stores.

The move affects 153 Metro stores and may include those in Broadstairs and Cliftonville.

In a statement issued today (August 5) Tesco says ‘conversations’ have begun with staff about ‘operational changes.’

It adds: “The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop. The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.

“We are therefore simplifying the way we run our Metro stores, with changes including:

  • 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
  • a leaner management structure, as we simplify our ways of working.”

Changes will also be made to 134  Express stores, possibly affecting those including the Ramsgate and Westbrook branches. These will see a slight reduction in opening hours during quieter trading periods at the start and end of the day, and simplifying stock routines.

There will also be changes in some larger stores with streamlining operational routines.

The statement adds: “Our priority now is to support affected colleagues, helping find alternative roles within Tesco for as many as possible. We expect that these changes will lead to an overall reduction of around 4,500 colleagues.”

Jason Tarry, UK & 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.”


  1. Great! Tesco blames the customers for not shopping properly to give them the profits they want, so the staff can sling their hook and those who are kept on having their contracts and earning changed! For the worse. More poverty!

  2. Read USDAW’s response.
    Usdaw’s response to Tesco statement
    Date: 05 August 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw, who represent over 160,000 Tesco staff, will be immediately entering into collective consultation with the company and is calling for government action to tackle the crisis in retail.
    Tesco have announced plans for a further restructure in their stores, placing thousands of jobs at risk of redundancy.

    Usdaw will be meeting with the Company to interrogate the business case for the proposals, and will work to ensure jobs are protected and affected staff are offered alternative roles wherever possible.

    As the retail sector continues to face difficult times, the Union will be redoubling our efforts to get the Government to adopt an industrial strategy for the retail sector including the proactive measures needed to protect jobs in our communities.

    Pauline Foulkes – Usdaw National Officer says: “Our members at Tesco are shocked and dismayed by yet another round of potential job losses, coming just months after 9,000 staff were put at risk in stores.

    “We will be working hard to make sure that any members potentially affected by these proposals are supported at this difficult time and throughout the consultation period.

    “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.”

    Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We have been calling for the Government to take action to tackle the crisis in retail. If the government were hoping that if they ignored the issue it would just go away, this announcement proves how wrong they are.

    “Usdaw has developed an Industrial Strategy for Retail and we urgently need the Government to consider and adopt the measures contained in it. Retail and our high streets are at the heart of our communities and every job lost is a blow. I call upon the Government to engage with us to find a solution to the retail crisis we are facing.”

    Usdaw’s ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign promotes our industrial strategy for retail, which proposes detailed and evidence led policies, centred on three key areas:

    Economy and community – changing the economic framework on everything from car parking to rates, rents and reforming the tax system to create a level playing field between online and ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers.
    People and productivity – improving productivity by addressing low pay and insecure work, while giving staff a say in the future of the business they work for and on the introduction of new technology.
    Retail jobs are real jobs – challenging perceptions about retail work and promoting the fact that retail jobs are real jobs that make a vital contribution to our communities and our economy. Seeking a greater focus from Government on the retail industry and ensuring shopworkers are valued.

    Usdaw’s industrial strategy for retail: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/retailstrategy

    Notes for editors:

    Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

    For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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