The announcement yesterday was the second bout of job cuts at Tesco in just over a week, after it announced 1,100 call centre employees would be put at risk by the closure of a call centre in Cardiff.
The latest cuts will affect employees across Tesco’s offices in Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City – amounting to about a quarter of staff there. It will also include some cuts in the Birmingham office of Tesco’s convenience store brand, One Stop. While all departments will be affected, Tesco has not said how many jobs will be lost in each.
A spokesman said: "This is a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business. This new service model will simplify the way we organise ourselves, reduce duplication and cost but also, very importantly, allow us to invest in serving shoppers better.
"We have made good progress so far in our turnaround but we have more to do. We will work with colleagues to support them as we go through this important transition."
The move continues a policy pursued by chief executive Dave Lewis to increase numbers of in-store staff in order to improve service levels and product availability. This strategy has helped the retailer improve levels of customer satisfaction. But it has been paid for by making efficiencies behind the scenes, as well as reducing the opening hours of some stores.
On Monday, Tesco announced a two-year deal to increase basic hourly pay, in what it described as its biggest ever investment in staff. The move will see its basic rate increase to £8.42 an hour by November 2018.
Shop workers’ union Usdaw had, earlier this week, welcomed that announcement as a "big step forward" – but yesterday national officer Pauline Foulkes said Tesco staff were "very concerned" about the cuts.
Twitter users, meanwhile, were not entirely convinced by Tesco's stated aim of better serving customers.
1200 jobs lost @Tesco today. It's not as if globalisation and tech is a factor and so we should be getting together with other countries.— Robert Weaver (@robweaverwm) June 28, 2017
Tesco job cuts, when no amt of profit is ever enough. But unemployment just keeps falling doesnt it? I wonder how that works?— i_am_not_waldo ???? (@RacingDaily) June 28, 2017
@Tesco so you promise 10% pay rises to employees and then announce 2400 job cuts. Am I being synical in thinking these 2 things are linked.— Frenchie (@french1e1965) June 28, 2017
Some credit to Tesco. At least they didn't pump out the job cuts news on a Friday afternoon, or the day of a major rival's results— Simon Neville (@SimonNeville) June 28, 2017
Another consequence of BREXIT - Tesco to axe another 1,200 jobs just a week after plans to close a call centre https://t.co/2R53Onci59— Terry Couchman (@YourChoiceUK) June 28, 2017