LONDON: British supermarket chain Tesco is cutting about 4,500 jobs from its Metro stores to improve the efficiency of a format that is increasingly used by customers daily rather than for a traditional weekly shop.
Tesco, both the biggest retailer and largest private sector employer in Britain, is restructuring operations in response to changing consumer habits, driven by the rise of online shopping and increased competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl.
The company said the changes in its 153 Metro stores – medium-sized shops found on Britain’s shopping street and by railway stations – would allow it to shift stock more quickly to the shelves and cut the time it was held in the store room.
Metro stores had originally been intended for customers making a weekly shop, but Tesco said the dynamic had changed and customers are increasingly buying food daily.
Where many staff had developed specialisms, such as selling wine, they now need to be able to work across all disciplines, the company said.
Tesco, which had a 27.2% share in the latest data from sector researcher Kantar, has largely outperformed main rivals – Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons over the past year.
However, the whole industry has remained under pressure from German challengers Aldi and Lidl, prompting Tesco to review logistics in an effort to find efficiency savings and maximise profit growth.
“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 Tesco UK boss Jason Tarry.