In Brief

Tesco blames falling bread demand for 1,800 job cuts

Supermarket chain's announcement comes after rivals trimmed workforces

Tesco is to cut more than 1,800 jobs in its in-store bakeries, blaming lower demand for traditional loaves of bread.

Announcing the news, the supermarket chain said that although no bakery counters will close completely, hundreds of its outlets would slash the amount of baking done on site.

Some 1,816 staff will be at risk of redundancy when the changes take place starting in May, though bosses have promised to try to find alternative roles for those who wish to stay.

Retail Gazette said: “The initiative comes after the grocer found that customers are purchasing fewer traditional loaves of bread and are increasingly looking for a wider range of options, with sales of wraps, bagels and flatbreads increasing.”

The chain had aimed to make £1.5 billion worth of cost savings by 2020, with more than 10,000 jobs cut since outgoing boss Dave Lewis took over in 2014.

Jason Tarry, Tesco's UK and ROI 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.”

The shopworkers' trade union Usdaw described the news as “devastating and upsetting,” adding: “Many of those affected by the proposed changes are skilled workers… the reality is the opportunities to find suitable alternative skilled roles may be limited for these workers.”

Tesco’s announcement comes hot on the heels of job cuts by rival supermarkets. Earlier this week, Sainsbury's announced it's cutting hundreds of jobs at its HQ. Last month, Morrisons' staff wept as bosses revealed 3,000 management job cuts.

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