Morrisons slashes 1500 store manager roles

Morrisons job cuts

Morrisons has announced plans to cull 1500 store management roles and create 1700 junior positions as it becomes the latest major retailer to announce a major shake up of its staff numbers.

The Big 4 grocer said the shake-up was part of a restructure that would see more customer service staff and fewer managers who have more consistent responsibilities.

This morning, the Big 4 grocer informed staff of the proposals, which includes the removal of warehouse managers from every store.

It is understood the changes are expected to be implemented in April.

Morrisons said there are around 800 management vacancies currently available which affected senior staff have the opportunity to apply for.

However, this means the remaining 700 affected senior staff will either have to accept a lower-paying job within Morrisons or face redundancy.

The new 1700 junior jobs that the grocery giant plans to create in place of the axed 1500 store management roles include shop checkout staff and shelf stackers.

“Our aim is to serve customers better with more front-line colleagues in stores improving product availability and helping customers at the checkouts,” Morrisons retail director Gary Mills said.

“Very regrettably, there will be a period of uncertainty for some managers affected by these proposals and we’ll be supporting them through this important process.

“Our commitment is to redeploy as many affected colleagues as possible.”

This is Morrisons’ first round of job cuts since 2016, when 680 roles were affected by the closure of seven loss-making stores.

In 2015, the grocer shut down 11 stores as well as cut hundreds of head office job not long after David Potts commenced his tenure as chief executive.

Potts has since led a dramatic turnaround of Morrisons, which included a better-than-expected spike in sales over the recent Christmas trading period.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and Supervisory, Administrative and Technical Association (Sata) – which represents Morrisons store managers – have both responded to Morrisons’ latest workforce shake-up.

“We will be entering into consultations with the company on behalf of our members affected by these changes, which the company proposes to implement in April,” Usdaw and Sata national officer Joanne McGuinness said.

“We are providing Sata members with the support, advice and representation they require through this process.

“Our priorities are to avoid redundancies and help our members stay employed within the business.

“We have secured from Morrisons a commitment to offer redeployment opportunities for all affected managers.”

Morrisons’ announcement today means all of the UK’s biggest grocery retailers have now announced a major upheaval of its workforce since the start of the year.

Last week, Sainsbury’s said that “thousands” of store management roles were at risk and Tesco announced similar roles that would affect around 1700 jobs.

Earlier in January, Asda announced it would cull 28 jobs from its head office – which came just weeks after it said 840 shop floor staff may have their pay cut or face redundancy amid sweeping cost-cutting measures.

In addition to the Big 4 grocers, Topshop/Topman, B&Q and Marks & Spencer have also announced thousands of collective job cuts or restructures, while hundreds of jobs are up in the air at collapsed fashion retailer East and Toys R Us UK – which is once again under threat as its collapsed US counterpart scrambles to find a buyer.

Major retailers have been affected by rising business rates and inflation that has come about since the Brexit vote, with the cost of goods soaring and consumer confidence plummeting.

For the Big 4 retailers, intense competition with and expansion ambitions from German discounters Aldi and Lidl has forced them to cut prices despite the rising costs and wages.

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