Tesco plans to cut more than 1,800 jobs in its in-store bakeries as it responds to lower demand for traditional loaves of bread.

 

The supermarket chain said no bakery counters would close but hundreds of its stores would reduce the amount of baking done on site.

It said 1,816 staff would be at risk of redundancy when the changes take place starting in May, though it would try to find alternative roles for those who wished to stay.

Tesco said that over recent years there had been a big shift in customer tastes and preferences.

Customers are buying fewer traditional loaves of bread and are increasingly looking for a wider range of options, with sales of wraps, bagels and flatbreads growing.

In the light of this, we have undertaken a review to make sure our bakery operation is relevant for the way the market and our customers have evolved.

The job cuts are in addition to thousands announced by Britain’s biggest supermarket last year.

Tesco’s bakery shake-up will see 58 counters converted so that all products are delivered pre-prepared, before being baked and finished in store.

At a further 201 stores, the most popular products will continue to be made from scratch on site with other products moving to part-baked.

Tesco said it would continue to offer scratch baking in 257 supermarkets.

Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK and Ireland chief executive, said: We need to adapt to changing customer demand and tastes for bakery products so that we continue to offer customers a market-leading bakery range in store.

We know this will be very difficult for colleagues who are impacted, and our priority is to support them through this process.

We hope that many will choose to stay with us in alternative roles.

The announcement comes just over a year after Tesco said it was cutting 9,000 jobs in a restructuring of store and head office functions.

In August it said it was cutting 4,500 roles in an overhaul of its network of mid-size and smaller stores.

Rivals Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have also recently announced shake-ups which will see thousands of posts axed.

Tesco’s latest move comes as chief executive Dave Lewis – credited with turning around the fortunes of Britain’s biggest supermarket – prepares to step down later this year.

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(c) Sky News 2020: Tesco blames lower demand for loaves of bread as it cuts 1,800 bakery jobs