Business Irish

Sunday 24 September 2017

Tesco jobs to go in massive overhaul

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Hundreds of jobs at Tesco in Ireland are at risk as the company plans a massive restructuring.

The country's biggest retailer is to cut 10,000 jobs across its operations - and its Irish business is likely to be firmly in the crosshairs.

The supermarket giant has been struggling for some time, and its new chief executive Dave Lewis began a major reorganisation last year. It is closing or not opening 43 stores across Britain and will cut staff levels at its corporate headquarters.

Those measures were initially expected to see the loss of around 6,000 positions, but now the company is expected to cut a further 4,000 staff.

Tesco is believed to be planning to remove a layer of middle management at its stores between the levels of store manager and shop assistant.

The staff affected by that change will be offered alternative roles. However, according to weekend reports, it is not clear if those alternative positions will come from the same pay grade or if they will even be full-time positions.

A Tesco spokesman said there "are no planned store closures in the Republic although we do keep our business under review".

Tesco employs more than 15,000 people across 142 stores in Ireland alone and has more than 300,000 staff in total.

The company has long been the dominant player in the grocery sector, but has come under severe pressure in recent years. It has been squeezed by discounters such as Aldi and Lidl at the lower end of the market, and by perceived pricier stores such as Fresh at the higher end of the market.

It has also been hit hard by corporate governance issues. Last September it launched an investigation after revealing that its guidance on profits for the six months to August 23 was overstated by around £250m (€318m). Four employees were suspended after the overstatement was discovered, and a further three were suspended a month later.

The company got some much needed good news last week, when it emerged that Tesco sales rose in January for the first time in year.

Mr Lewis has previously said he wants to simplify the business and cut costs by as much as €250m a year.

The company has already warned that group trading profits in this financial year will not exceed £1.4bn, down from £3.3bn last year, and analysts have claimed Tesco is losing money in Britain.

In numbers

330,000: Number of staff employed by Tesco

10,000: Number of jobs Tesco are to cut

22.49pc: Decline in Tesco share price over the last 12 months

Irish Independent

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