Supermarket employees in the Horsham district are facing an uncertain future after a national chain said it would axe thousands of jobs.
The firm announced it expects to cut 4,500 jobs across its branches as it changes the way Metro and Express stores are run.
A spokesman said the changes will ‘simplify and reduce processes and administrative tasks across all of our 153 Tesco Metro stores’.
Jason Tarry, UK and ROI CEO, said: “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.
“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.”
The changes will allow the firm to ‘serve shoppers better’ and help it run more sustainably in an ‘increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment’, the spokesman said.
He added: “The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop.
“The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 per cent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.”
The changes will include faster and simpler ways of filling shelves, colleagues working more flexibly to improve customer service at the busiest times and a leaner management structure.
Tesco said there would also be small changes to 134 Express stores, including a reduction in opening hours during quieter trading periods.
The firm warned customers to expect ‘localised changes in some large stores’ including how the firm moves stock and fills shelves.
The spokesman added: “Our priority now is to support affected colleagues, helping find alternative roles within Tesco for as many as possible.”