Tesco tight lipped on ‘10,000 job cuts plan’

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tesco remained quiet on reports of up to 10,000 job cuts
Tesco remained quiet on reports of up to 10,000 job cuts

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Tesco is remaining tight lipped about widespread media reports that Britain’s biggest retailer is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs in a bid to revive its flagging fortunes.

“It’s a decline to comment,”​ a spokeswoman told this website today (Monday, February 16) in response to questions about a turnaround plan that could result in thousands of staff losing their jobs.

Up to 6,000 jobs are likely to be axed from Tesco’s head offices  and in the 43 stores earmarked for closure, according to reports in The Telegraph​. The remaining 4,000 jobs will be lost in a major management restructure of the business, as the troubled retailer seeks to revive falling sales and profits.

The reports follow ceo Dave Lewis’s pledge last month to make cuts of £250M​ and slash overheads by 30%. Lewis said at the time: “We have some very difficult changes to make. I am very conscious that the consequences of these changes are significant for all stakeholders in our business, but we are facing the reality of the situation.”

‘Very difficult changes to make’

As part of the cuts, Tesco announced last month plans to close its headquarters in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Also plans to open 49 large stores had been shelved.

Nicknamed ‘Drastic Dave’ for the cuts he implemented at Unilever, Lewis reportedly wants to strip out a whole layer of management from Tesco stores. The roles at risk are thought to be those that operate between store manager and shop assistant level.

If implemented, the cuts would be the latest round of cuts from the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – as they battled to resist the pincer movement on their sales exerted by discount stores Aldi and Lidl and upmarket retailers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

Big four retailers

The list of job cuts from the big four retailers included: Morrisons’ decision to cut 2,600 jobs last year and Asda’s 1,360 job losses. Last month Sainsbury unveiled plans to cut 500 jobs.

The cuts came as the discount stores revealed plans to add tens of thousands of new staff to their workforce. In November Aldi announced plans to created 35,000 jobs​ in a £600M expansion.

Meanwhile, last week Tesco enjoyed a crumb of comfort, as Kantar Worldpanel revealed that its sales had returned to growth​ during the 12 weeks to February 1. The retailer’s sales grew by 0.3% as an extra 236,000 shoppers visited its stores.

But its overall market share dipped by 0.2% to 29% compared with the same period of last year.

It continued to face three major investigations​ into its conduct by the Groceries Code Adjudicator, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council.

Tesco remains the nation’s biggest private sector employer, with more than 310,000 staff working across 3,330 stores.

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