• Source close to supermarket chain cites performance issues

• Contractor ‘working to regain its position’

Supermarket giant Tesco has removed Kier from its main contractor framework, shrinking it from five to four companies.

The framework, which until recently was known as G5, was made up of Costain, Barr, RG Carter, Kier and Taylor Woodrow. These companies win the bulk of Tesco’s work and undertake its big mixed-use schemes.

But it has emerged that Kier has been taken off the framework, which has been renamed G4 as a result. A source close to Tesco cited performance issues.

A statement from Kier said that although it was still working for Tesco, it was no longer as part of the G5 framework: “We are not currently included on the G5 but have been assured that this is under review and are working to regain our position.”

Kevin Grace, Tesco’s property services director, said: “We monitor our relationships and as you would expect we make occasional changes; we simply wouldn’t be performing properly if we didn’t do this.”

As you would expect, we make occasional changes; we simply wouldn’t be performing properly if we didn’t

Kevin grace, Tesco

The news comes during a period of flux in Tesco’s property division. In February, Building revealed that six directors in the property team, led by development director Tony Vasishta, had left the company.

Tesco has also faced criticism over its aggressive planning drive this year. Last week the Competition Commission was asked by the Office of Fair Trading to launch an investigation into the superstore’s acquisition of a Co-op store in Slough less than a mile from an existing Tesco store.

Earlier this month the chain released a report defending itself against another Competition Commission inquiry which suggested that local businesses were being threatened by the growth of “Tesco towns”.

Also this week it was revealed that Sainsbury’s plans to invest £750m on expanding its land bank and refurbishing existing stores. A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s declined to comment.