Tesco to slash 2,000 distribution jobs
Grim news for Tesco workers: some 2,000 jobs are to be lost across the company's 32-strong UK distribution centres. There may be new job opportunities for some as the company works to overhaul its network.
But the employment uncertainty for many of the supermarket's employees could be considerable.
Tesco says it has been reviewing its distribution network and confirms it plans to shutter some of its current distribution centres "and open new ones that will give our customers a better service and improve working conditions for our colleagues."
"Colleagues," says Tesco, "who are affected will be offered jobs at other Tesco sites, including at the two new distribution sites we have confirmed that we will be opening, in Reading and Dagenham. Two thousand jobs will be created at those sites."
Last year Tesco chief exec Richard Brasher said the company was committed to creating 20,000 new UK jobs between 2012 and 2014. "This is net job creation," he said at the time, "although we will continue to run our business as efficiently as we can, this is a determination for this to be net new jobs."
Better times?Tesco appears to be slowly re-flating itself after a torrid two years. Latest Kantar Worldpanel numbers show that for the 12 weeks up to 20 January, Tesco clung onto its 30.4% year-on-year market share while powering ahead - just - of Sainsbury's as far as sales growth (+3.3% versus +3.2%) goes.
Those numbers can't hold a candle to Aldi numbers. Despite being a minnow in comparison, Aldi sales saw +28.2% sales rise for the quarter up to 20 January. However Tesco investors will be watching the company share price (365.0p at time of writing), which has crept steadily forward since mid October when its shares sunk to 310p.
Meanwhile the supermarket sector is battling to hang onto consumer trust following the horse meat scandal. "The entire industry is facing a new reality," says Sainsbury boss Justin King, writing in the Telegraph. "Trust has been severely damaged. The horse meat scandal has identified potential weaknesses in the food supply chain that must be addressed with urgency and rigour."