WILKO staff are the latest retail employees to find themselves on the chopping block – as the supermarket has launched talks with thousands who could potentially lose their jobs.
The value retailer has begun consultations with 3,900 employees which could eventually end in a number of “redundancies”.
Wilko is removing a level of supervisor roles across its UK stores, but 1,000 new senior roles will be created amid the major change.
According to Retail Week, the changes are designed to create a “simpler” store staffing structure.
The plans could result in “more team hours on the shop floor” with extra customer service roles.
But the consultations will reportedly run until October, affecting “thousands” of store staff.
Anthony Houghton, Wilko retail director, said the move was necessary to ensure “all retail operations are fit for the future”.
He blamed the changes to staffing on the “legacy of retail structures”, and said they created complex systems which are not “fair or transparent” for Wilko team members.
Mr Houghton added: “The simpler, newly defined store structure will give teams greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience.”
The chain’s most recent accounts show its a drop in its pre-tax profits by 80 per cent in the year to January 28.
Wilko attacked the introduction of the National Living Wage for inadvertently affecting its margins.
The retailer claimed it “was well above expected levels” and had hurt discount retailers.
Mr Houghton described the current retail landscape as “challenging” and wailed that profits are plummeting despite growing customer numbers and routine efforts to reduce costs.
Wilko follows Asda who recently announced plans to drastically reduce staff numbers in a bid to reduce losses.
The supermarket has initially singled out 18 under-performing stores deemed “overstaffed” in relation to their sales performance.