Tesco to cut 1,800 jobs as it overhauls in-store bakeries

Supermarket chain cuts back on baking as cost-cutting drive continues

Ben Chapman
Tuesday 25 February 2020 15:42 GMT
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4,500 staff at Tesco are set to lose their jobs

Tesco is to cut more than 1,800 jobs as it overhauls its in-store bakeries and prepares more bread off-site.

From May Tesco will stop baking bread from scratch in 58 stores with products prepared elsewhere. In 201 stores, only the most popular products will continue to be baked from scratch on the premises.

The UK’s largest supermarket chain said it was responding to changing shopping habits, with consumers now demanding a wider choice of options such as wraps, bagels and flatbreads as well as the traditional loaf.

Tesco’s UK and Ireland chief executive Jason Tarry said: “We need to adapt to changing customer demand and tastes for bakery products so that we continue to offer customers a market-leading bakery range in store.

“We know this will be very difficult for colleagues who are impacted, and our priority is to support them through this process. We hope that many will choose to stay with us in alternative roles.”

Tesco announced 4,500 job cuts in August last year, with the axe falling most heavily on Metro stores.

Metro outlets were originally designed for a weekly shop, Tesco said at the time, but seven in 10 customers now use them as convenience stores, purchasing food to eat that day.

To adapt to this change Tesco said it would implement faster and simpler ways of filling shelves, keeping less stock in store rooms and more on shelves. Staff members will be asked to work more “flexibly” around the store.

The company has been on a sustained drive to cut costs since the arrival of chief executive Dave Lewis in 2014.

Mr Lewis surprised analysts in October last year by resigning from the company. He is set to depart this summer.

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