Closures threat to 2,000 Tesco jobs
Around 2,000 Tesco workers discovered their jobs were at risk today after the supermarket giant disclosed the locations of 43 store closures.
Seven superstores and six Homeplus outlets are among the unprofitable shops identified for closure by new chief executive Dave Lewis.
He announced the closure plan earlier this month as part of wider measures designed to revive the group's fortunes in the wake of a disastrous 2014.
Tesco said that 2,000 staff are expected to be affected by the 43 closures and that it will begin consultations with all those workers affected.
Mr Lewis said: "The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard-working colleagues, our customers and local communities.
"Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and, wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco."
The superstores are at Bedlington, Chatham, Connswater and Cregagh Road in Belfast, Doncaster, Kirkcaldy and Wrexham Dodds Lane.
The Homeplus shops to shut are at Bristol Cribbs Causeway, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Southampton and Staines.
Tesco Metro shops set for closure are at Bicester, Bootle, Caerphilly, Crossgates, Devizes, Grangemouth, Mexborough, Morecambe, Ormskirk, Runcorn, Smethwick and Woodseats.
The company has also identified 18 smaller Express convenience stores for closure. They are at Bearwood; Belvedere; Church Street, Ballymena; Heaton Chapel; Heybridge, Essex; Houghton Regis; Liverpool Kensington; Longbridge Road, Barking; Northfield, Birmingham; Raymouth Lane, Worksop; Sheffield Manor; South Tottenham High Road; Tredegar; Troon; Walsall Wood; Wealdstone; Whitley Bay; and York Road, Hartlepool.
Usdaw union national officer Pauline Foulkes said: "This is devastating news for over 2,000 dedicated staff in the 43 Tesco stores across the UK, who have worked hard to make their shop viable during a difficult time for the company.
"We will now enter into full and meaningful consultation meetings on this proposal, where we will look closely at the company's business case for the closures.
"Our priority is to maximise employment within Tesco, seek redeployment opportunities for members, where possible, and to keep job losses to a minimum."
In addition to the shutting of shops, the group recently announced it would shelve plans for 49 new stores.
They included Tesco's £ 22 million Chatteris store in Cambridgeshire which had been earmarked to open its doors to customers two months ago, but has ended up on the scrapheap without serving a single customer.
It was anticipated the store would create around 250 jobs but it has remained empty since its completion.
Staff at Britain's biggest supermarket will also be hit by the closure of the group's final salary pension scheme.
Tesco shares have fallen by more than 40% over a nightmarish 2014 which saw a string of profit warnings, the departure of Mr Lewis's predecessor Philip Clarke, and a £ 263 million accounting scandal - being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
The group has named turnaround specialist Matt Davies, currently boss of Halfords, to lead its UK and Ireland business from June.
It also plans to slash capital spending to £1 billion for the next financial year, the same as it spent in the first six months of 2014/15 and less than the £ 2.7 billion invested in the 2013/14 financial year.