Tesco closing fresh seafood counters in nearly 100 stores

Published on
January 29, 2019

Tesco UK is closing fresh seafood counters in around 90 stores, citing a challenging grocery market and more customers shopping online.

Around 9,000 employees are expected to be impacted by the fresh counter closures and a number of other cost-cutting measures, according to the retailer.

“In our four years of turnaround, we’ve made good progress, but the market is challenging and we need to continually adapt to remain competitive and respond to how customers want to shop,” Tesco UK CEO Jason Tarry said in a statement.

Tarry said Tesco is making changes to its stores in the United Kingdom and head office “to simplify what we do and how we do it, so we’re better able to meet the needs of our customers.” 

“This will impact some of our colleagues and our commitment is to minimize this as much as possible and support our colleagues throughout,” he added.

A Tesco UK spokesperson told SeafoodSource that the grocery chain could not comment further on the seafood counter reductions, or the other measures.

Customers are shopping less at Tesco’s fresh department counters as its convenience and online businesses have continued to grow, according to the chain. 

“Not only are customers shopping in different ways, but we know that they have less time available to shop too – which means they are using our counters less frequently,” Tesco said. 

Around 90 stores will close their counters, and the remaining 700 stores will have either a full or flexible counter. 

Thousands of Tesco colleague roles could be effected by the changes underway.

"However, our expectation is that up to half of these colleagues could be redeployed to other customer-facing roles,” the retailer said.

Executives at Tesco’s corporate office also face cuts. 

“We have completed a detailed review and this week we’re talking to colleagues about changes in some of our head office teams, moving to a simpler and leaner structure, which will allow us to focus on supporting our customers,” Tesco said. 

Another area that will be cut back is hot foodservice, which is offered in around one-third of Tesco stores. 

“Over recent years, there has been reduced demand for this. Over the last three years, we have been rolling out new self-service colleague kitchen areas in a number of stores, and we are now extending this to all remaining stores with a hot food service,” Tesco said. 

The change will impact people working in our colleague rooms, who are employed by third-party caterers, and Tesco is working with its third-party providers “to understand the impact on their staff in our colleague hot food service,” the retailer said.

Tesco is also changing the way it manages its stock, which could lead to job reductions. 

“After a number of trials, we have found a simpler way to conduct our store routines and will be rolling this out to all of our stores. These changes mean a significantly reduced workload, with fewer hours needed to complete the routines,” the retailer said.

Contributing Editor



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