Morrisons is set to embark on a significant store management restructure with 2,600 jobs expected to be lost.
The supermarket has described the move as creating a "simpler management structure" and has begun discussion with store colleagues and their representatives. Morrisons is aiming to simplify its outlets as some of the stores currently have seven tiers between the shop floor and the store manager.
Dalton Phillips, head of Morrisons, explained in a statement that the retailer was keen to modernise its operations. Despite the loss of 2,600 jobs within this process it is committed to create 1,000 jobs in Morrisons M local convenience stores as well as a further 3,000 positions in its new supermarkets. He added that the hours involved in the process would be re-invested into customer-facing jobs on the shop floor.
Mr Phillips said: "This is the right time to modernise the way our stores are managed. These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working. We know that moving to the new management structure will mean uncertainty for our colleagues and we will be supporting them through the process."
The move has not been a popular one, with former Morrison chairman Sir Ken Morrison describing the job cuts as "disappointing". In an interview with BBC Look North, Sir Ken explained that he sympathised with the workers that were being made redundant and reinforced the need for people to be told whether or not their livelihood is at stake.
Sir Ken stepped down from his role at the retailer in 2006 but his family still retains a nine per cent stake in the company. He has been critical of Morrisons' operations of late and urged its senior management to visit the stores as members of the public to assess the problems it is currently going through.