U.K.'s Co-op to take on around 1,700 extra management staff in its food stores; retailer currently has nearly 3,000 food outlets across the U.K., employing around 77,000 people

MANCHESTER, England , February 10, 2011 (press release) – The Co-operative Group has announced that it is to take on around 1,700 extra management staff in its food stores.

The Co-operative’s rapid expansion in recent years has propelled it into the “big five” of UK food retailers, but acquisitions of stores from other retailers and co-operative societies mean management structures differ widely across its store network.

The Co-operative currently has nearly 3,000 food outlets across the UK, employing around 77,000 people. A review of the management structure in each store will lead to 1,700 new jobs being recruited during the next five months, and will create a consistent structure across all its stores.

These new positions are in addition to The Co-operative’s plans to expand its food store network in the next three years, which will add around 7,000 extra store staff.

In some stores there will be a reduction in the number of management positions. However, given the overall increase in roles, The Co-operative hopes to retain as many affected colleagues as possible by redeploying them elsewhere in the business.

Tim Hurrell, Chief Executive, The Co-operative Food, said: “We’re adopting a consistent approach, that is appropriate to the size of each store and will help us meet our goal of delivering excellent service. The net effect is a gain of 1,700 jobs and these jobs will be at management level in stores. Where we fill these roles internally it will create opportunities at all levels.

“We are proud of the role our stores play at the heart of so many communities, right across the UK, and these changes will help us to further improve our customer service.

The Co-operative has been working closely with the trade union USDAW during negotiations on the new structures and terms and conditions.

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