Tesco has launched a consultation with 9,000 workers as it ramps up efforts to build a “simpler, more sustainable business”.

The supermarket giant is proposing a raft of changes that will affect staff working on its in-store counters, stock management, merchandising, staff canteens and head office operations.

Contrary to media speculation over the weekend, Tesco’s in-store bakeries will not be affected by the restructuring.


Tesco expects to close food counters in 90 of its larger stores

Tesco briefed staff on the changes earlier today and said it expects to redeploy around 4,500 of the affected workers in other parts of the business.

Britain’s biggest grocer expects to close counters in 90 of its larger stores. Tesco said customers are “shopping in different ways” and have “less time available to shop”, which meant they were using counters like the fishmonger, butcher and deli less frequently.

However, counters will remain open in Tesco’s 700 remaining supermarkets, offering either “a full or flexible counter offer” to customers.

Tesco is also cutting the number of staff hours required on merchandising because moving products around the store can “prove frustrating for customers”.

The retailer said it has been “working to reduce the amount of layout changes” it makes in stores, which meant “fewer merchandising hours” were required.

Staff working on stock management will also be affected as Tesco changes the way it manages its stock. The grocer said it has “found a simpler way to conduct store routines” and would roll out those changes to all its shops.

Tesco said that would lead to a “significantly reduced workload” for employees working in this part of the business.

The supermarket giant added that further changes would be made in its colleague rooms, with only a third of stores now operating a hot food service in its canteens due to “reduced demand” from staff.

Tesco has started introducing self-service kitchens to its stores, which will be rolled out across all remaining stores. The move means Tesco will no longer employ third-party caterers to serve hot meals in staff canteens.

Retail Week understands around 500 of the 9,000 roles in consultation are in Tesco’s head office. The grocer is moving to a “simpler and leaner structure”, which will allow it to “focus on supporting our customers”.

Tesco’s UK and Ireland boss Jason Tarry said: “In our four years of turnaround, we’ve made good progress but the market is challenging and we need to continually adapt to remain competitive and respond to how customers want to shop.

“We’re making changes to our UK stores and head office to simplify what we do and how we do it, so we’re better able to meet the needs of our customers. This will impact some of our colleagues and our commitment is to minimise this as much as possible and support our colleagues throughout.”