One hundred top jobs are set to be lost at key Lancashire employer Booths as part of a management restructure.
The Preston-based supermarket chain announced the move to shocked staff in a series of meetings today.
The long-established family-run firm has confirmed the closure of two Lancashire stores, but building work on another three is continuing.
Booths has 31 stores across Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire and employs around 3,000 people.
Booths said it was undergoing a proposed restructure in how it manages its stores, “with a view to becoming more efficient and offering better customer service.”
The suggested change will see heads of department and assistant manager roles replaced by three management positions with ‘greater accountability and responsibility’.
Booths opened a new store in Hale Barns, Cheshire last week, but has also announced the proposed closure of two stores in Ansdell and Marton later this year as the business continues on the largest store build plan in the group’s history.
Booths is preparing to open a new store in Burscough in July, as well as state-of- the- art replacement stores in St Annes, and the redevelopment of the Teanlowe Centre in Poulton-le-Fylde.
It says recent store openings in Barrowford & Hale Barns will have created approximately 400 new full and part time positions.
Booths Retail Director, Paul Minett said: “Booths is entering a very exciting phase of development and the new stores are at the cutting edge both in terms of design and artisan food offer and quality.
“The customer experience is at the heart of we do, and we’re focusing on the things that matter most to our customers - service, availability and quality.”
“To support this, that means a simplified and more accountable management structure, trading from an estate of profitable, vibrant stores. The difficult and tough decisions that we make now will ensure that Booths continues to have a bright and profitable future for generations to come.”
A spokesman said it was anticipated that the majority of employees in the Ansdell and Marton stores will be able to secure positions in the new replacement Booths stores.
However, due to an overall reduction in staff operating hours, the company is entering into a consultation process expected to span two months.
The wife of one management employee whose job is at risk told the Evening Post: “They just got a letter a few days ago to tell them to attend this meeting and they were not allowed to talk about it.
“I feel very bitter. They used to be a good company. They have brought in a lot of outsiders who are cost cutting at the expense of long-serving staff.”