— Tesco confirms 9,000 jobs at risk as it axes fresh food counters
Tesco has announced that 9,000 jobs will be affected in a restructuring of its store and head office functions.
The UK’s largest retailer said it hoped to redeploy half the staff facing the prospect of losing their job in the planned shake-up, which is aimed at “simplifying” the business as chains continue to invest in price cuts by saving money elsewhere.
It was just over a year ago that Tesco said it was cutting up to 1,700 management roles in the UK in order to “simplfy” the business.
The FTSE 100 firm – like its major rivals – has been slashing costs at the tills in a bid to better compete with discounters such as Aldi and Lidl which have enjoyed the biggest gains in market share terms in recent years.
Its shares were more than 2% down following the announcement.
Jason Tarry, Tesco’s chief executive in the UK and Ireland, said: “In our four years of turnaround we’ve made good progress, but the market is challenging and we need to continually adapt to remain competitive and respond to how customers want to shop.
“We’re making changes to our UK stores and head office to simplify what we do and how we do it, so we’re better able to meet the needs of our customers.
“This will impact some of our colleagues and our commitment is to minimise this as much as possible and support our colleagues throughout.”
Tesco said that as part of in-store changes it would close counters at 90 of its largest supermarkets.
It said that changing customer habits meant meat, fish or deli service areas were not being used as frequently and the remaining 700 stores could see a reduced counter service.
Other reforms included new stocking routines which, it said, reduced the need for staffing and the removal of a hot food service for workers
The news was released shortly after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released a letter signed by major food retailers warning of the prospect of empty shelves in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Tesco was not among the signatories.