The Co-op convenience chain is overhauling its store management structure in a move that will impact more than 2,000 staff.

The retailer revealed it is cutting four layers of managers in each store to three following a successful trial in around 300 shops over the past two years.

The Co-op chain is overhauling its store management structure in a move that will impact more than 2,000 staff (Co-op/PA)

It will axe the role of team manager across its 2,600 stores, but stressed there will be no compulsory redundancies, with each impacted worker offered an alternative role as team leader.

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The three-tier management structure – which is set to be in place by the end of May – will comprise store manager, team leader and customer team leader.

Those that choose to take the role of team leader will have their pay protected for six months, the Co-op said.

It added that team managers will also be able to apply to become trainee store managers, with the potential to take part in a development programme, or other roles within the group.

The group said where trialled in stores so far, the new management structure had “successfully given store colleagues more time to serve customers and members in our communities”.

The Co-op, which employs around 50,000 staff across its food stores, began a 45-day consultation with impacted staff this week.

A spokesman for Co-op said: “Our aim at Co-op is to serve and support our communities, giving our customers the best possible shopping experience.

“As we move our stores over to a three-tier management structure, protecting jobs is a continuing key priority and we are pleased to be able to offer alternative positions to all the colleagues affected.

“These changes will free up store colleagues to give our customers great service from efficient and well-run shops.”

The move comes after the Co-op Group revealed just two weeks ago that annual profits after tax and discontinued items more than doubled to £77 million, with like-for-like food sales at its retail arm up 6.9%.

The Co-op said on reporting the full-year figures that it would repay the Government £15.5 million it received in furlough support at the height of the pandemic, but stopped short of handing back the £66 million it secured in business rates relief.