TESCO jobs could be at risk across Oxfordshire after the supermarket giant announced 4,500 staff in 153 Metro stores will go in the latest round of redundancies.

The majority of workers will go from Tesco Metro stores, with other positions going at some Express and larger stores, Tesco said.

It is not yet known if this will include any of the county’s stores but there are Tesco Metros in Magdalen Street in Oxford city centre and in Cowley Road, while there are Tesco Express stores across Oxford, Abingdon and other towns.

The Oxford Times:

Bosses want to overhaul the Metro stores, which are bigger than Express stores but smaller than larger supermarkets, saying that shoppers tend to use them for top-up shops, rather than buying bigger basket-loads of shopping.

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Retail expert Keith Slater said: “There are no guarantees that Tesco jobs won’t go in Oxfordshire - it will depend very much on the performance of individual stores.”

The company said in a statement: “The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 per cent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.”

The changes to stores will include fewer products in the back of the store, with more moving straight to the shop floor when they are delivered.

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Staff will also be expected to be more flexible, working across different departments and adding more focus on keeping stock levels high during busy lunchtime rushes, among other tasks.

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There will also be a ‘leaner management structure’ and workers will be given headsets to communicate more easily throughout the stores, the company added.

The Oxford Times:

In 134 Tesco Express stores - out of 1,750 - there will also be a reduction in opening hours due to low footfall.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “In a challenging, evolving retail environment, with increasing cost pressures, we have to continue to review the way we run our stores to ensure we reflect the way our customers are shopping and do so in the most efficient way.

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“We do not take any decision which impacts colleagues lightly, but have to make sure we remain relevant for customers and operate a sustainable business now and in the future.”

Shoppers have been reacting to the news on oxfordmail.co.uk.

Going Digital said: “I stopped shopping there at least five years ago, probably closer to 10.

“Got fed up with their fake offers and went for Aldi and Lidl.”

Squirrel15 agreed that discount supermarket chains were eating into Tesco’s takings.

The Oxford Times:

He said: “Actually Tesco might well prefer Brexit long-term as it would discourage the likes of Aldi and Lidl from expanding in the UK despite in the short term possibly affecting their supply chains.”

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The retailer, which has more than 300,000 UK employees and more than 3,400 stores, said earlier this year it could cut 9,000 jobs, although it hoped to redeploy up to half into other customer service roles.

Fishmonger, butcher and baker jobs at the retailer were expected to be at risk.

The cuts are part of plans to slash £1.5bn from Tesco’s cost base.