Supermarket giant Tesco said Monday it is to axe about 4,500 jobs across its city-centre UK stores to slash costs. Tesco, which is Britain’s biggest retailer, will carry out a reduction of around 4,500 colleagues as the group experiences an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment, it said in a statement.
The job cuts, equivalent to about one percent of Tesco’s worldwide workforce, come after the company axed 9,000 roles in January.
The latest job cuts will be at Tesco’s Metro stores, largely found in city and town centres across the UK.
“The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop,” the company said.
“The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 percent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.” Tesco — the world’s third-biggest supermarket chain after France’s Carrefour and global leader Wal-Mart of the United States — has been dogged in recent years by fierce UK competition from German discount chains Aldi and Lidl.
“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,” Jason Tarry, CEO of Tesco UK and Ireland, said in Monday’s statement.
“We do not take any decision which impacts colleagues lightly, but have to make sure we remain relevant for customers and operate a sustainable business now and in the future.” Tesco recently posted subdued sales for the first quarter of its financial year, citing poor consumer sentiment in its Brexit-facing home market.