Deputy manager, department manager and team leader roles are set to be axed at Sainsbury’s supermarkets as part of major management shake up in their stores across the UK.

The roles will be replaced by operations managers and a newly-created customer and trading manager position.

Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts told Retail Week: “As a retail leadership team, we’ve worked on a number of elements of retail change that we think are not only needed, but it’s the right time to reset our supermarket operations.

“It comes in the context of: how do we do even more of the right things for customers?”

Roberts added: “We’re proposing a store management structure that will deliver best in class leadership and, in many cases, will offer an improved reward package for new management roles.

“The proposals will introduce a more efficient and effective structure, designed to meet the challenges of today’s retail environment. They will deliver cost savings to be invested in our customer offer and in our colleagues as they continue to provide the very best service for our customers.

“Our intention is not to reduce overall headcount as a result of these proposals. I appreciate this will be a difficult time for those affected and we will fully support our people through these changes.”

Store staff were informed of the shake up this morning (23/01) and a consultation over the proposed changes is underway until May.