Leeds & West Yorkshire

Morrisons cuts 720 jobs at Bradford head office

Morrisons' head office on Gain Lane in Bradford
Image caption Morrisons is cutting 720 staff at its headquarters in Bradford

A total of 720 jobs are set to be lost at Morrisons' head office in Bradford.

The supermarket said it was beginning a consultation about a "simplified management structure" at its West Yorkshire base, which currently employs 2,300 people.

Morrisons said it had also begun recruiting 5,000 shop floor staff for its stores across the country.

Chief Executive David Potts said the business had made "tough but necessary decisions".

The supermarket said it would be offering opportunities for voluntary redundancy and staff would be offered a role in Morrisons stores, with some redeployed in other parts of the business.

Morrisons said it would not "rule in or out" the possibility that head office managers would offered new roles on checkouts or stacking shelves.

"They could be made redundant but they will certainly be made the offer of a job within the business," said a spokesman.

By Danni Hewson, Business Correspondent, BBC Yorkshire

It's almost unheard of for a new chief executive to come into a business and not make changes. David Potts jumped into the hot seat last month and has already created waves.

The biggest loser in this latest shake-up must be Bradford. The head office on Gain Lane employs 2,300 people. The cuts announced today will cut that by almost a third.

Although affected staff are being offered the chance to find alternate positions within the company, the reality is many are unlikely to take up that offer. Geographically many of the stores may be too distant without relocation and the positions on offer there and across the rest of the business may be unsuitable.

In recent months Bradford's unemployment rate has been falling but it is still well above the national average of 2.1% and the loss of such a large number of jobs can't fail to register.

It was a tough decision says the company, an even tougher decision is likely to face those staff who've been given the bad news today.

Mr Potts added: "We are focusing on the things that matter to our customers.

"That means having more of our staff in our stores, improving product availability and helping customers at our checkouts.

"To support this, we need a simpler, faster and cost-conscious head office and that requires some tough but necessary decisions."

In March Morrisons reported profits down by 52% to £345m, its worst results in eight years.

Mr Potts joined the business in March to replace Dalton Philips who left after five years at the helm of the firm.

Meanwhile, the company has started on the closure programme of the M local stores that it has earmarked for the axe.

Last month it announced that it would close 23 M local stores during the year, resulting in the loss of 380 jobs.

It said four stores have been closed, with the remaining 19 to shut over the next few months.

Image caption David Potts was brought in as chief executive in March to replace Dalton Philips

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