The retailer said it would be closing 30 convenience stores – including 18 Express outlets and 12 inner-city Metro shops – along with seven superstores and six non-food ventures called Homeplus. The closures are spread across the UK.
Lewis said: “In January I announced that our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and that to protect the future of the business in the UK we would close 43 unprofitable stores. The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hardworking 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. We will continue to serve our customers through other local stores and our dotcom service.”
The Express and Homeplus stores will close on 15 March with the Tesco Metros and Superstores on the list closing on 4 April.
The identity of the stores has been revealed after Lewis said earlier this month he was axing the retailer’s emblematic Cheshunt head office in Hertfordshire, alongside the 43 closures and the abandonment of 49 planned new stores.
Pauline Foulke, national officer at shop workers union Usdaw 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.”
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