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Tesco closes counters, shuts Jack’s stores

Unveiling of the Jack’s brand: the company said it had learned from the exercise

Tesco is closing its meat, fish and deli counters in 317 of its stores and shutting seven of its Jack’s discount supermarkets.

Counters with the “lowest demand” will be removed and the six remaining Jack’s stores will be converted to Tesco stores.

However, the cutbacks may not involve any redundancies as the affected staff will be offered alternative work. It said it currently had 3,000 vacancies across the group

The Jack’s brand was launched by former chief executive Dave Lewis in 2018 as the German discount rivals Aldi and Lidl began eating into the share of the big four.

UK and Republic of Ireland chief executive Jason Tarry said: “Our Jack’s brand will continue to be sold across Booker and our symbol brands.

“We want to thank our Jack’s colleagues for all they have done and taught us. Our priority is to find roles within our wider business for all the colleagues who want to stay with us.”

Tesco said it “learned a tremendous amount” from the business, which was named after founder Jack Cohen, to help it understand the discount operating model, which includes much fewer lines than its traditional shops.

It added that its experience with Jack’s has helped its core Tesco business to be more competitive, with the supermarket chain boasting strong sales and gaining share from rivals since the pandemic hit in early 2020.

The seven sites closing are in  Hull, St Helen’s, Walton, Castle Bromwich, Middlewich, Barnsley and Liverpool North.

Retail trade union Usdaw will now enter into consultation talks. Daniel Adams – Usdaw National Officer said: “Tesco has informed us that they are looking to undertake restructures across the business. Clearly this will be incredibly unsettling for those who may be affected. 

“We should not forget the role that key workers have played throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and to receive this news is devastating. 

“Usdaw will do all we can to support members throughout the process and we will fully engage in consultation with the business with a view to protecting jobs and, where this is not possible, securing the best possible deal for those affected.”

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