Tesco is axing almost 1,700 shopfloor roles as part of a drive to “simplify” the structure of its store teams, Retail Week can reveal.

The supermarket giant has made the roles of people manager, compliance manager and customer experience manager redundant in stores and fulfilment centres across the UK.

Tesco said the removal of people managers will impact staff in 757 of its larger stores and seven warehouses.

A total of 674 compliance managers, the vast majority of whom are employed in shops, will have their positions axed, while 226 customer experience manager roles in Tesco’s largest Extra stores are also being culled.

However, as part of the changes communicated to staff earlier today, Tesco is creating 900 new roles with broader, regional remits.

New people partners, learning partners and colleague relations partners will work across “multiple sites” in its stores, distribution and fulfilment network, Tesco said.

The grocer is also introducing colleague administration roles into each of its largest shops and fulfilment centres.

Tesco axed 2,200 roles in June last year as it continued to grapple with a turbulent trading landscape and a plethora of cost headwinds.

Britain’s biggest supermarket shed more than 1,000 roles after closing its Cardiff call centre and axed a further 1,200 jobs at its head offices in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. The cull represented around 25% of the workforce based across the two locations.

Not alone

Tesco is not alone in seeking to streamline its workforce. Its big four rivals have also made sweeping changes in recent years to adapt to changing shopper habits and make themselves fit for the multichannel era.

Last August, Asda launched a consultation with more than 3,200 workers in 18 of its underperforming stores which had been identified as being overstaffed.

And in October, Sainsbury’s axed 2,000 jobs, ditching store-based payroll and human resources jobs and restructuring the HR functions within Argos and its banking arm.

Tesco said the latest changes to its store staffing structure would “improve efficiency” and give line managers “clearer accountability for colleague and customer experience”.

Impacted staff have been placed into a 45-day consultation.

‘Difficult changes’

Tesco’s UK and Ireland chief executive Matt Davies said: “These changes remove complexity and will deliver a simpler, more helpful experience for colleagues and customers.

“We recognise these are difficult changes to make but they are necessary to ensure our business remains competitive and set up for the future.

“Our priority now is to support affected colleagues through these changes in any way we can.

“We hope to retain as many colleagues as possible in the new roles we have created and in the vacancies we currently have available.”