The Co-operative Group is hiring around 1,700 extra management staff in its food stores over the next five months.

The new appointments aim to provide a consistent management structure across all its stores. The retailer said that management structures currently differ widely across the group due to its acquisition of stores from other retailers and co-operative societies.

The new positions are in addition to The Co-op’s expansion plans which it predicts will add 7,000 extra staff in the next 3 years.

Some stores will see a reduction in management positions, however the retailer hopes to redeploy the affected staff. It is working with trade union USDAW during the negotiations.

The Co-operative Food chief executive Tim Hurrell, said: “We’re adopting a consistent approach that is appropriate to the size of each store and will help us meet our goal of delivering excellent service.”