Tesco stores in East Anglia could close

Tesco Metro stores in the East are unthreat Picture: Greta Levy

Tesco Metro stores in the East are unthreat Picture: Greta Levy - Credit: Archant

Tesco supermarkets in East Anglia could be closed after the retail giant announced a massive overhaul of stores.

As many as 4,500 staff are set to lose their jobs in the latest round of redundancies at the UK's biggest supermarket.

The majority of losses will go from Tesco's Metro stores with other positions going at some Express and larger stores, Tesco said.

Bosses want to rethink the Metro stores, which are bigger than Express stores but smaller than larger supermarkets, saying that shoppers tend to use them for top-up shops rather than buying bigger baskets.

The company said in a statement: "The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day."

It is not yet clear which stores in Norfolk and Suffolk could be closed.

Last week it was revealed Lowestoft's Tesco Metro in the heart of the town centre would be shutting down.

In 134 Tesco Express stores - out of 1,750 - there will also be a reduction in opening hours due to low footfall.

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Again, at this stage it is not known which stores will be impacted.

Other changes which will be rolled out include fewer products in the back of the store, with more moving straight to the shop floor when they are delivered.

Staff will also be expected to be more flexible, working across different departments and adding more focus on keeping stock levels high during busy lunchtime rushes, among other tasks.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive, said: "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.

"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 previously announced it would be cutting 9,000 staff as its cut back its store offerings.

Shopworkers' trade union Usdaw, which represents over 160,000 Tesco staff, said it is calling for government action to tackle the crisis in retail.

Pauline Foulkes, Usdaw National Officer, said: "Our members at Tesco are shocked and dismayed by yet another round of potential job losses, coming just months after 9,000 staff were put at risk in stores.

"We will be working hard to make sure that any members potentially affected by these proposals are supported at this difficult time and throughout the consultation period.

"This issue is not confined to Tesco, our high streets are in crisis, with jobs being lost due to shops closing, retailers folding and businesses engaging in significant restructuring to survive. We need the Government to address the worries and concerns of shopworkers and our members."

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