Tesco closes meat, fish and deli counters as it cuts hundreds of jobs

Tesco is set to cut hundreds of jobs by closing all meat, fish and deli counters in 317 of its stores across Lancashire and the UK.

The British supermarket giant said it would close counters in stores with the “lowest demand” amid changes in customer habits.

The company will also close seven of its 13 Jack’s discount stores, which will affect 130 jobs at the sites and its headquarters. The remaining six outlets will become Tesco stores.

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It is understood the move will impact hundreds of workers, although the retailer did not disclose the total number of employees affected.

Jason Tarry, Managing Director of Tesco UK & Republic of Ireland, said: “Our Jack’s brand will continue to be sold through Booker and our iconic brands, bringing great value and quality to even more customers.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at Jack for all they have done and taught us.

“Our priority is to find roles within our wider business for any colleagues who want to stay with us.”

The Jack’s brand was launched by former chief executive Dave Lewis in 2018 to cope with the meteoric growth of German discount rivals Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco said it had “learned a huge amount” from the business, which is named after founder Jack Cohen, to help it understand the discount operating model, which includes far fewer lines than its traditional stores.

However, he said “now is the time to focus on pursuing the creation of great value in our core business.”

He added that his experience with Jack’s has helped his core business Tesco to be more competitive, with the supermarket chain posting strong sales and gaining share from rivals since the pandemic hit in early 2020.

In 2019, Tesco also undertook a major restructuring process which affected around 9,000 workers and included the closure of counters in 90 stores.

The company said it will now only have 279 stores with meat, fish and deli counters after a “decline” in the number of customers using them regularly across its portfolio of stores.

It said it would “reuse” counters from the 317 stores affected by its latest counter closure plans. Colleagues affected by this decision will be offered alternative roles, he added.

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