Almost 700 jobs are under threat at Waitrose as it plans several store closures and embarks on an ambitious management restructure.
The management restructure will see the removal of the role of department manager in its 350 stores, affecting 180 jobs over the next three years.
The supermarket chain is planning to cut five under-performing sites, which would see 498 staff facing redundancy.
It also said plans were under way to open eight new shops and create 600 jobs this year.
Waitrose retail director Ben Stimson said:
“We’d always try hard to avoid closing branches but we review how our shops are doing commercially and respond where we have to.
“We’ll be consulting with our branch partners on these proposed closures and will make sure they have all the support they need.”
“We’ve successfully trialled a flexible way of working that enables us to give even better service to our customers. We now plan to adopt this model in all our supermarkets.”
Waitrose, which has around 350 stores and is part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, last month reported a rise in sales over the Christmas period.
But the partnership warned that workers faced a cut in their annual bonus this year as the business faces a turbulent period ahead.