Morrisons has confirmed it will cut 2,600 store management jobs as part of a restructuring move that will remove two management tiers.
The move will affect 15,000 staff.
The supermarket told staff on Tuesday it was starting a 45-day consultation process which is the result of trials of three different streamlined management structures over the past year.
Chief executive Dalton Philips said: “These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working.”
The news, first reported by the Guardian, follows stinging criticism from Morrisons former chairman Sir Ken Morrison on the supermarkets’ strategy. The grocer has been badly squeezed by discounters Aldi and Lidl and reported a 7.1 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in Q1 2014. It hopes its new price focused strategy will propel it back to the position that Asda currently abides in.
The new structure will merge the role of department managers, who look after areas such as fresh meat or fruit and vegetables with supervisors to create a single and smaller tier of team managers.
Morrisons said it plans to promote 1,000 of this group into new duty manager roles to bolster its senior management team in each store.
Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw’s national officer who is representing Morrison’s workers, said: “Today marks the start of a 45-day consultation period, where we will look in detail at the company’s business case. Our priority will be to safeguard as many jobs as possible, maximise employment within the business and get the best possible outcome for our members affected by this restructuring.”