Tesco warns 9,000 jobs are at risk as part of restructuring

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

Tesco has confirmed up to 9,000 jobs are at risk at its head office and in stores as part of efforts to "simplify" the business.

As part of the shake-up, the supermarket giant said it would aim to redeploy 4,500 employees - around half of those at risk.

Sweeping changes across the business will include a reduction in meat, fish and deli counters, with 90 stores set to lose the service altogether and the remaining 700 trading with either a full or flexible offer.

Other reforms included new stocking routines which, it said, reduced the need for third-party staffing and the removal of a hot food service for workers.

Additional changes include reduced hours dedicated to both stock control and merchandising.

The head office will also move to a 'simpler and leaner structure'. Credit: PA

Head office workers are also facing cuts as the company moves to a "simpler and leaner structure".

However, Tesco denied reports it will overhaul its in-store bakeries, saying that no significant changes are planned this year.

Jason Tarry, CEO of Tesco UK and Ireland, 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," Mr Tarry added.

Members of the public have told ITV News the cuts to staffing is "not fair".

Others said they would "miss the deli counter" and that Tesco is "thinking about profits rather than the customer".

Another Tesco customer said the business shake up was "such a shame" as the cuts would affect local employment "tremendously".

Responding to the news, trade union Usdaw's national officer Pauline Foulkes said: "This is devastating news for staff, who have played a crucial role in Tesco's turnaround project, contributing to 12 successive quarters of growth, solid Christmas trading and over a billion pounds of profit."

Ms Foulkes added: "We will enter into consultation talks with Tesco, where we will examine the business case for their proposed changes."