Thought leadership

Morrisons is axing 3,000 management roles as part of a huge restructuring to create more shop floor jobs. The firm says it is also creating 7,000 new hourly-paid roles at its 500 stores, meaning a net 4,000 new posts.

The new jobs will be in customer-facing roles, such as more butchers, bakers, fishmongers, the supermarket said. Morrisons said the new roles will be a mixture of part and full time posts, but declined to reveal how the numbers will be split.

Managers will be able to move to the new jobs, with the firm saying there will be roles “for everybody who wants to continue to work at Morrisons”.

David Lepley, Morrisons group retail director, said: “Whilst there will be a short period of uncertainty for some managers affected by these proposals we will be supporting them through this process.

“There will also be more roles with greater flexibility that are very attractive to colleagues with families.”

The company says those in managerial jobs who want to remain working at Morrisons can stay. However, their new offer will be at the shop floor level. Front-line store staff at Morrisons earn £9 an hour. News of the restructuring was first reported by Retail Week.

The big four supermarkets are all making changes to try to stem the flow of shoppers switching allegiance to discount stores.

They are all hoping to save money on staffing costs in order to be able to offer bigger discounts to shoppers in store. Within the past year Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda have all announced significant job cuts at management level.

However, unlike Tesco’s job cuts at this point last year, Morrisons are putting more new shop floor workers behind specialist counters.

Rather than cutting deli counters, Morrisons are keen for their Market Street sections to help them stand out against the other big players in the supermarket wars.

All affected stores will have a 45-day consultation period, with the cuts beginning in March. The manager jobs at risk include in-store posts, and not office roles, the company said.

Jobs such as in-store beer, wine and spirits managers will be combined with other jobs.

Morrisons is not the only supermarket to be cutting management posts. All the big four UK supermarket chains are battling to retain market share amid fierce competition, particularly from discount chains Aldi and Lidl.

Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s said it was shedding hundreds of management roles, but did not confirm the number.

Sainsbury’s said the cuts were being made due to the integration of Argos, which it bought in 2016.

Asda has reportedly begun consultations with more than 2,800 staff over cutbacks. Reports say those working in administrative, cash office and personnel roles have been told their jobs are at risk.

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