In the News

Delayering and Culture Change at Waitrose

Jim Riley

10th February 2017

Waitrose is in the headlines with news that it is removing a layer from its store organisational hierarchy as well as closing six under-performing stores.

This article from Retail Week explores why Waitrose is adopting delayering as part of its strategy to remain competitive in the intensely competitive supermarket sector.

Key points raised in the article include:

  • Waitrose is trying to create a “whole shop” culture, rather than dividing employees into separate departments like fresh, frozen, toiletries etc.
  • Waitrose is only doing what its competitors have done earlier - removing layers of management between the store manager and the store staff
  • The main reason for delayering is cost-cutting; middle management are relatively expensive employees
  • However there are other business benefits, including the classic benefit of delayering: faster decision-making in store
  • Although Waitrose is one of the last of the major supermarkets to delayer middle management in stores, it may be able to benefit from learning how their competitors have done it!

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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