ABOUT 4,500 staff at Tesco are to lose their jobs at the UK’s biggest supermarket.

The majority of workers will go from Tesco’s Metro stores, with other positions going at some Express and larger stores, Tesco said.

But it is unclear at this stage whether Saltcoats' Tesco Metro, North Ayrshire's only Metro store, will be affected. 

Bosses want to overhaul the Metro stores,which are bigger than Express stores but smaller than larger supermarkets. The firm said shoppers tend to use their Metros stores for top-up shops, rather than filling bigger baskets.

The company said: “The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 per cent of customers use themas convenience stores, buying food forthat day.”

The changes will include fewer products in the back of the store, with more moving straight to the shop floor when they are delivered.

Staff will also be expected to be more flexible, working across different departments and adding more focus on keeping stock levels highduringbusy lunchtime rushes, among othertasks. There will also be a “leaner management structure” and workers will be given headsets to communicate more easily throughout the stores.

At 134 Tesco Express stores – out of 1,750 – there will also be a reduction in opening hours due to low footfall.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “We do not take any decision that impacts colleagues lightly, buthave to make sure we remain relevant for customers and operate a sustainable business now and in the future.”