SHOPPING: Tesco puts 1,600 jobs at risk as it ends overnight restocking

Tesco store

BBC’s Emma Simpson is reporting that Tesco, which has a number of stores in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll,  has warned 1,600 jobs are at risk as it ends overnight restocking at some stores and converts some petrol sites to pay-at-pump during the night.

The supermarket’s plans come a day after it announced the closure of its Jack’s discount stores.

It said restocking shelves during the day would mean more staff could be on the shop floor at peak times.

Tesco boss Jason Tarry said the move would help it to run the business as “simply and efficiently as possible”.

Overnight restocking will switch to the daytime in 36 big stores and 49 convenience stores.

The chain also plans to convert petrol stations in 36 stores to pay-at-pump only during overnight hours.

“We operate in a highly competitive and fast-paced market, and our customers are shopping differently, especially since the start of the pandemic,” said Mr Tarry.

“We are always looking at how we can run our business as simply and efficiently as possible, so that we can reinvest in the things that matter most to customers.”

Analysis box by Emma Simpson, business correspondent

This is just the latest in a series of restructurings at Tesco.

Over the last few years it’s changed or axed thousands of roles as it overhauls the way it runs its stores to try to create a simpler business. All its big rivals have done the same as they try to compete with Aldi and Lidl.

And, of course, our shopping habits have changed.

Tesco, and all the grocers, have enjoyed bumper sales at Christmas and throughout the pandemic but they’re all facing rising costs ranging from raw materials and freight to wage increases.

Last autumn Tesco announced it would make one billion pounds of savings over three years, to help offset inflation and to invest in the business to stay competitive.

Managing costs is going to be one of the biggest headaches for retailers this year and, like Tesco, they will all be looking at ways to become more efficient.

‘Devastating’ move

News of the shake-up comes after Tesco’s announcement on Monday that it planned to close its Jack’s discount stores and shut meat, fish and deli counters in 315 Tesco stores.

Daniel Adams, national officer at retail trade union Usdaw, said: “Tesco has informed us that they are looking to undertake a number of restructures across the business that could put around 1,600 jobs at risk. Clearly this will be incredibly unsettling for those who may be affected.”

“We should not forget the role that key workers have played throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and to receive this news is devastating.”

In a statement, Tesco said it had about 3,000 vacancies elsewhere in the business and it aimed to “offer alternative roles at Tesco for as many colleagues as we can”.

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