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Tesco to axe 1,800 jobs amid changes to in-store bakeries

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
People walk past at a Tesco Express in central London. (Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesco (TSCO.L) on Tuesday said that more than 1,800 jobs are at risk as part of planned changes to the large bakeries in its stores.

Britain’s largest supermarket chain said that hundreds of its stores would now move away from baking products from scratch, meaning it would need fewer staff to work in its bakeries.

“As a result, there are 1,816 bakery colleagues being put at risk of redundancy,” Tesco said in a statement.

“At this difficult time, our priority will be to support those colleagues impacted, including finding an alternative role from the many thousands of vacancies we will have available across our store networks between now and May, for those who wish to stay with us.”

Tesco cited a “big shift” in consumer preferences for the move, noting that customers were buying fewer loaves of traditional bread, and instead purchasing wraps, bagels, and flatbreads.

The supermarket chain said that it had undertaken a review of its bakery operation to ensure that it was “relevant” for the way its market and customers had evolved.

Around 260 Tesco stores will continue to offer products that have been baked from scratch in store. At a further 201 stores, some products will continue to be baked from scratch, while others will be “part-baked,” Tesco said.

At 58 stores, the in-store bakeries will be converted to units that bake and finish pre-prepared goods.

“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,” said Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK and Ireland chief executive.

“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,” Tarry said.

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