EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Retail
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
47.11 - Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating
Number Employed: 126000

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 17-06-2014
Planned Job Reductions min: 2600
Planned Job Reductions max: 2600
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 17-06-2014
Planned Job Creation: 4000

Additional Information

UK supermarket chain Morrisons announced they would introduce a new management structure for their stories that will result in 2,600 redundancies. At least one (some stores two) level of store management will be removed. The decision followed pilots of three possible management structures that were tested over the past year. 

Morrison's major competitors have similarly announced job cuts and/or management restructuring. The shift to on-line shopping has been cited as one of the reasons for this type of in-store restructuring as well as high competition by discount supermarkets.

As reported, the restructure will have a broad impact on store workers. Estimates of between 14,000 and 15,000 workers will be impacted in some way by the change in the organisational structure in stores. Former roles of departmant managers will be combined together with supervisors. So while the removal of one tier of management will result in redundancies, it will also lead to promotions for 1,000 of Morrison's store managers.

In terms of mitigating the job losses, at the same time as announcing the 2,600 redundancies, Morrisons announced the creation of 4,000 additional supermarket jobs. Morrisons has indicated that the newly created positions will first be offered to those current workers who were made redundant as a result of the removal of the tier of store management.

This restructuring announcement follows a restructuring of back office workers last year, which resulted in 700 redundancies and at least 100 planned redundancies at Morrison's distribution centres.

Updated, 21-07-2014: A further sign of competitive pressure on UK supermarket chain, Morrisons has announced that it has shelved plans to create around 330 new jobs at a new site that had received planning approval in Aberdeen in Scotland. Permission was granted to build the new store in 2012, where a supermarket, cafe and petrol station were earmarked for the site.