Morrisons cuts 1,500 managers in shake-up

Morrisons has announced plans to axe 1,500 managerial jobs to allow investment in bolstering its customer experience.

The supermarket chain followed rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s in announcing a restructuring of store operational roles.

Morrisons said that while it was cutting managerial positions, it was planning to hire 1,700 customer assistants – lower paid jobs.

It said that the 1,500 staff affected by the decision would not all necessarily lose their work as the chain currently had 800 managerial vacancies they could apply for.

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

David Potts took over at Morrisons in 2015

Image: David Potts took over at Morrisons in 2015

“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.”

Morrisons – like its so-called ‘big four’ rivals – has not been immune from the challenge posed to their dominance by discounters such as Aldi and Lidl which have been growing their market shares rapidly since the financial crisis.

Supermarket margins have been placed under pressure by the competition – exacerbated since 2017 by the Brexit-linked fall in the value of the pound which forced up import costs – costs which have been partly passed on to shoppers.

Morrisons has been among the strongest performers, in terms of its recovery under chief executive David Potts who reported stronger Christmas sales after a previously poor festive season, in 2014, saw his predecessor lose his job.

Joanne McGuinness, from the USDAW shopworkers’ union, said: “This is a further big upheaval for the Morrisons store management team after the restructure in 2014/15.

“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.”

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She added: “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.”