Tesco said today it was making changes to its UK business that could impact up to 9,000 jobs. 

It estimated that half of that number could be re-deployed across the business. 

Tesco, Britain's biggest private sector employer with a staff of over 300,000, said the main change in its stores would be to its fresh meat, fish and delicatessen counters.  

It expects to close counters in about 90 stores, with the remaining 700 trading with either "a full or flexible counter." 

Tesco said it also needed less staff for stock control, merchandising and at its head office.

A spokesperson for Tesco Ireland said the changes would not impact its stores here.