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Major HQ layoffs at Tesco as operations centralised

Virtually all the nearly 140 Tesco staff in the company's head office that were offered voluntary redundancy earlier this year have left the retailer, the Irish Independent understands. It is believed that less than a handful have moved to Tesco's UK arm.

The well-paid head office jobs in Dun Laoghaire were among 140 positions lost as Tesco began to bypass buyers in Ireland and source products directly from suppliers in the UK in an effort to reduce costs, while centralising more functions in the UK.

At the time, Tesco said it was restructuring its central office operations because of the move.

The retail giant said staff would be offered retraining, or the opportunity to redeploy to the UK. However, it is believed that very few have moved to the UK.

Among the staff that the Irish Independent understands have left the company are those who had been involved in a range of functions including legal, buying, commercial and retail finance, marketing, human resources, property, store ordering, staff involved in the company's mobile phone arm, and even corporate social responsibility.

Some staff had been with the company for well over a decade.

A number of employees are due to leave the head office in the coming weeks, but the majority of those affected have already left the company.

In a statement, Tesco said some staff members had opted to take voluntary redundancy and others chose to transfer to work in its stores.

It is believed that fewer than five staff decided to transfer to stores.

Employees who left the retailer were offered five weeks' severance pay per year of service, with the amount limited to a maximum of two years' pay.

Tesco operates about 120 stores in Ireland employing 3,500 people. It recently said that the Irish arm had delivered 7.7pc sales growth in the six months to the end of August.

That's likely to result in the retailer posting revenues in Ireland of more than €3bn in the current financial year and profits of about €280m.

Tesco chief executive designate Philip Clarke described the Irish economy as "lacklustre", but said the company had achieved a "remarkable turnaround" in the past year.

Irish Independent