Belfast Telegraph

Thousands of Tesco jobs at risk under plan to cut shifts and opening hours

Thousands of Tesco jobs are at risk after the supermarket announced plans to cut back on night shifts and trading hours at its UK stores.

The supermarket said the move was part of "further improvements" to customer service.

Around 3,000 staff will be affected by the changes, which will see restocking shifts at 69 of its stores change from overnight to daytime hours, and trading hours at eight of its 24-hour stores cut back to 6am to midnight.

It will also merge different services desks, "so that customers can get everything they need in one place".

A consultation will be launched over the coming weeks, and the supermarket expects the majority of staff will stay on with Tesco in some capacity.

The changes are expected to come into force by this summer.

Tesco's UK chief executive Matt Davies said: "We're committed to improving the way we serve our customers and this week have discussed making further changes in a number of UK stores with our colleagues.

"These changes will help us run these stores more simply and deliver the best possible service for customers.

"We appreciate these changes will impact the roles of some of our colleagues and we will work with them to ensure they are fully supported throughout this period."

The eight 24-hour stores that will see opening times reduced include the Edgware Road Metro, Galashiels Extra, Holyhead Extra, Ilkeston Extra, Kilmarnock Extra, Falkirk Grahams Road, as well as sites in Folkestone and Worksop.

It follows similar moves made last year, when Tesco reduced trading hours at 76 stores across the country, saying that reduced hours would help free up staff to restock shelves overnight.

Tesco is currently aiming to slash costs by £1.5 billion over the next three years to help boost margins and return the group to bottom-line profit growth.

But Tesco is now set to take a £235 million hit after reaching an agreement with authorities over its 2014 accounting scandal which will see it make a hefty compensation payout to investors.

The supermarket is also grappling with investor pressure over its £3.7 billion takeover tilt for food wholesaler Booker, which was agreed to in January.

Major shareholders Schroders and Artisan Partners are demanding it scrap the tie-up after taking umbrage with the deal price and branding it an unwelcome distraction.