RETAIL giant Morrisons has announced it is seeking to axe jobs across the area.
Employees at the firm’s superstores in Anchorage Road and Victory Retail Park could go as part of plans to slash 2,600 roles across its 511 UK stores.
Morrisons in Walpole Road, Gosport, is also affected.
Details of how many workers could go from the shops are not being released yet as a 45-day consultation over the proposals only began yesterday.
Company officials say the move would modernise the way stores are managed, reducing the number of management tiers and simplifying responsibilities.
Some Morrisons stores currently have seven tiers between the shop floor and the store manager.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, said: ‘Clearly, job losses are never welcome and as a city we need to find work for those who could lose their jobs. Unfortunately some of these changes are inevitable as technology marches on.’ Cllr Donna Jones, council leader, said it was disappointing news.
‘I am very disappointed to hear the news that a large employer in the city is reducing jobs. It’s a reflection of the current financial strength of the Morrisons group, which obviously isn’t where the company wants it to should be,’ she said.
Morrisons says it has no plans of closing the Portsmouth stores and its range of smaller shops, such as the one in Elm Grove, Southsea, are unaffected.
An extra 1,000 jobs are to be created in those branches and workers facing redundancy could be offered roles in that part of the business.
Meanwhile, plans are still in the pipeline for a new Tesco store at Fratton Park, which would create hundreds of jobs.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons chief executive, said: ‘This is the right time to modernise the way our stores are managed. These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working.
‘We know that moving to the new management structure will mean uncertainty for our colleagues and we will be supporting them through the process.’