Thousands of jobs are at risk across Tesco and Sainsbury’s as the retailers shake up their management structure.

Tesco is axing a number of management roles in its stores to give line managers more direct accountability for customer service, a move that will affect 1,700 staff.

Sainsbury’s said its changes would deliver cost savings, which will be invested in its customer offer and in its staff. However, it would not give a figure on the number of jobs at risk.

Both retailers will offer new management roles as a result of the restructures.

“We’re proposing a store management structure that will deliver best-in-class leadership and, in many cases, will offer an improved reward package for new management roles,” said Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts.

“Our intention is not to reduce overall headcount as a result of these proposals. I appreciate this will be a difficult time for those affected and we will fully support our people through these changes.”

Tesco CEO Matt Davies said its changes would remove complexity and deliver a simpler, more helpful experience for staff and customers.

“We recognise these are difficult changes to make, but they are necessary to ensure our business remains competitive and set up for the future,” said Davies.

“Our priority now is to support affected colleagues through these changes in any way we can. We hope to retain as many colleagues as possible in the new roles we have created and in the vacancies we currently have available.”