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Tesco makes changes to bakery category which could see 1,800 lose jobs

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Tesco plc has announced a strategic switch up to its bakery category. The company said its bakeries are an important part of its offer for customers and will remain so. However, over recent years, Tesco have seen a big shift in customer tastes and preferences. Customers are seen to be buying fewer traditional loaves of bread and are increasingly looking for a wider range of options, with sales of wraps, bagels and flatbreads growing. In light of this, they have undertaken a review to make sure its bakery operation is relevant for the way the market and its customers have evolved.

From May, Tesco will be making the following changes in its large in-store bakeries:

Altering the space and range to cater to changing customer demand, including the increase in alternatives to traditional loaves.

Tesco will continue to offer scratch baking in 257 stores but are making some changes to its other bakeries. In 201 stores the most popular products will continue to be baked from scratch with other products moving to part-baked. And in 58 stores they are converting the bakery to full bake-off where all products are delivered pre-prepared, then baked and finished in store.

The company will also be improving the customer experience by investing and continuing to roll out new, up-to-date fixtures as well as growing its regional bakery ranges in partnership with small local suppliers.

Due to some stores doing less scratch baking, as well as the simplified routines these changes will bring, Tesco has said a total of 1,816 bakery colleagues are being put at risk of redundancy. At this difficult time, the company’s priority will be to support those colleagues impacted, including finding an alternative role from the many thousands of vacancies they will have available across their store networks between now and May for those who wish to stay with the company.

Jason Tarry, UK & ROI CEO, 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. We know this will be very difficult for colleagues who are impacted, and our priority is to support them through this process. We hope that many will choose to stay with us in alternative roles.”

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