Tesco drops service counters and 9000 employees


British supermarket chain Tesco has announced another thorough restructuring. A total of 9000 jobs are in the balance, both in the main office and in the stores. Service counters will disappear in 90 stores.


Cost-cutting plan

The British market leader is looking to simplify its operations in order to remain competitive and better meet consumer expectations, explains top executive Jason Tarry in the press. He believes shoppers are spending less time in stores and they are less likely to use the fresh food departments with a service counter. For this reason, counters where fish, meat and other fresh foods are sold, will disappear from 90 stores. In 700 other stores the counters will remain in use, albeit sometimes with limited opening hours. In the kitchens for the employees, service will be replaced by vending machines. The organisational structure will be simplified in the head office.

Tesco employs 300,000 people in the UK. The chain is hoping to re-employ half of the dismissed in another function. This reorganisation is part of a four-year plan to save 1.5 billion pounds (1.72 billion euros) in expenses. The chain has been struggling with debts ever since an accounting scandal reared its head back in 2014. The company is also increasingly pressured by competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl. Last year, Tesco cut 1700 middle management jobs and closed one of its call centres, which cost another 1100 people their jobs.