Tesco is reportedly set to slash over 1,000 jobs at its head office, as Britain's biggest retailer steps up its cost-cutting effort.
According to Press Association, the FTSE 100-listed group will cut 1,200 jobs in its head office, amounting to approximately 25% of staff at offices in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield.
The employees affected are understood to have been notified on Wednesday (28 June).
The news comes only a week after Tesco unveiled plans to shut its Cardiff call centre, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
"Today we have shared with colleagues across Tesco changes that we plan to make to the way we operate our business," the company said.
"This is a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business. This new service model will simplify the way we organise ourselves, reduce duplication and cost but also, very importantly, allow us to invest in serving shoppers better.
"We have made good progress so far in our turnaround but we have more to do. We will work with colleagues to support them as we go through this important transition."
Pauline Foulkes, national officer at shopworkers' union Usdaw, said the staff were very concerned about the proposal.
"Usdaw reps and officials are providing support to our members at this difficult time," she explained.
"We will now enter into consultation talks with the company over the coming weeks to look at the business case for their proposed restructuring.
"Our priorities are to keep as many staff as possible in employment and to get the best possible deal for our members. In the meantime, we are continuing to provide the help and advice Usdaw members need through this process."
Under the stewardship of chief executive Dave Lewis, Tesco has implemented a number of measures in a bid to recover from the worst scandal in its history, after revealing in September 2014 it had previously overstated its profits by £263m ($337.3m).
The retailer has lowered prices and bolstered customer service and the measures are beginning to pay off as the supermarket reported the first full year of sales growth in the UK since 2009/10, after sales rose 0.9% year-on-year.
Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uksaid: "It's sad but not surprising that Tesco are making job cuts at its head office. Last week Tesco said they needed to remain "sustainable and cost effective" and this is evidently their way of streamlining the business.
"It's undoubtedly distressing news for employees of Tesco and their families."