The UK's largest grocer, Tesco, has announced some major changes to its distribution network that will result in a number of job losses – a move described by the company as "simplifying" the management structure across its distribution centres (DC).

The proposed changes will reduce the number of Tesco DCs from 25 to 23 in the UK, with the closing of its Welham Green facility and the moving of its grocery operations to Reading. The retailer will also bring the majority of general merchandising into one DC at Middlesbrough, resulting in the closure of the Chesterfield site.

In addition, Tesco said it is withdrawing from its Daventry hanging garments shared DC which is currently operated by third party DHL. Tesco's clothing operations will move to nearby Daventry DC. The process will see all warehouse operations currently carried out by DHL Supply Chain and Wincanton moved in house.

A statement from the business on Monday 9 January said the changes form part of a wider programme of transformation, which has been taking place over the last two years since Dave Lewis assumed the role of group CEO. In terms of supply chain changes, Tesco has reduced the days it takes to pay invoices to its smallest business suppliers, as well investing in technology to boost efficiency in its Central European operations.

Essential Retail understands there will be 1,015 redundancies made as a result of the changes, however 533 new roles will be created within other sites across Tesco's distribution network. There will be 444, 207 and 364 redundancies at Welham Green, Chesterfield and as part of the accompanying management restructure, respectively.

As for new roles, these will be created at Reading (130), Middlesbrough (46) and Daventry (40), as well as through the new management structure (317).

Matt Davies, Tesco UK & Ireland CEO, commented: "As the needs of our customers change, it's vital we transform our business for the future.

"These changes will help to simplify our distribution operations so we can continue to serve our customers better. Our priority throughout this process has been our colleagues and we will continue to do all we can to support them at this time."