SUPERMARKET chain Morrisons has announced plans to cut 2,600 jobs as a result of changes to its management structure.

Morrisons has tried out the new structure and says it led to better performance. The supermarket has 126,000 staff.

Dalton Philips, Morrisons chief executive, said: "This is the right time to modernise the way our stores are managed."

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"These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working," he said.

The roles at risk include department manager and supervisory positions in stores, says the company.

Consultation period

The supermarket will also create 1,000 jobs in Morrisons M local convenience stores and 3,000 in new supermarkets. Morrisons will "look to offer displaced colleagues the opportunity to work in these growing businesses," it said.

Joanne McGuinness - Usdaw's national officer representing Morrisons workers said: "The next few weeks will be a worrying time for our members in Morrisons and we will do everything possible to support them. Today marks the start of a 45-day consultation period, where we will look in detail at the company's business case.

"Our priority will be to safeguard as many jobs as possible, maximise employment within the business and get the best possible outcome for our members affected by this restructuring.'

The changes come amid increasing pressure on Mr Philips after the Bradford-based chain posted an annual loss of £176m in the year to February and recently announced a 7.1 per cent drop in quarterly sales.