tesco metro night

Tesco has begun redundancy talks with thousands of workers at nearly 150 stores as it launches a nationwide rollout of night shift closures.

The move, which follows previous service model changes and nighttime closures at more than 100 stores earlier this year, is expected to lead to significant job losses among the retailer’s non-food staff, who are set to bear the brunt of the latest changes. As part of this week’s announcement Tesco said a further 30 of its stores would end 24-hour opening, taking the total of such nighttime closures to nearly 130 in the past nine months. Another 90 stores would have reduced opening hours it said.

Tesco said the move was prompted by the need to focus staff shifts during the day and at twilight hours to improve service and availability, though it is also set to slash its costs on the night premiums paid to workers.

It is the latest in a sweeping series of staffing restructures made by Tesco this year, starting in January when it revealed 76 24-hour stores would stop opening at night.

The Grocer revealed in February that Tesco planned to look to extend the cutbacks to night-time operations as part of what it called a “recalibrating exercise”.

In June, the retailer changed the service model at a further 50 stores including a further 20 stopping 24-hour trading and the closure of GM customer service counters.

But Tesco said the biggest impact of the latest changes was the restructure of its GM operations, warning that, unlike previous changes to grocery shifts, not all workers there would be offered a job under the moves.

“We are right in the thick of talking to staff at the moment. We started consultation last night on what are some serious changes. At this present time we don’t know how many colleagues will stay or leave,” said Tesco retail director Tony Hoggett.

”We’re making some changes in a number of our stores to help us run them more simply and deliver the best possible service for customers. We understand this may be disruptive for some of our colleagues and where there have been changes to a colleague’s role we will be working really hard to ensure they are fully supported.”

“Shopping patterns for general merchandise have changed and we’re moving to reflect that but first and foremost this is about moving to a service model which works better for customers. The previous moves we have carried out have seen really strong results for customer service and colleague benefits.

Tesco claims service has improved with more staff present during the busiest hours of the day and strongly denied that the move is driven by cost-cutting.