Tesco is set to make redundancies within its fashion merchandising team following a recent drop in general merchandise sales.

The retailer declined to say which positions will be impacted but it is understood that it will only affect a handful of roles. Tesco has started a consultation process this week.

A Tesco spokesman said: “In these difficult economic times we have reviewed a number of office roles to ensure that we are working as efficiently as possible on the things that we know will make a difference for our customers. 

“Following this review there will be a small number of redundancies, subject to consultation. We recognise the impact of this and where possible we will work with those affected to find an alternative role within the business.”

The move follows a 0.9% drop in the retailer’s general merchandise sales in the UK, which includes clothing, for the 26 weeks to August 27.

Like-for-like growth across the whole of general merchandise was down 4.8%, compared with a fall of 3.3% in the second half of last year. It said margins have held up “very well”.

General merchandise sales in Europe were strong with clothing sales up by 11%.