Tesco to cut 1,800 jobs as it revamps its bakery departments
Staff working in the bakery department of Bury St Edmunds' Tesco superstore are facing the threat of redundancy.
It comes after the supermarket giant confirmed it was making changes to its in-store bakery offering as part of a major review.
And while it will mean changes in hundreds of stores nationwide, which could include those in Bury, Stowmarket and Thetford, it will also see more than 1,800 jobs face the axe.
As of May, it will alter the space and increase the range of alternatives to traditional loaves which, it says, has seen a decline in demand.
In a statement it said: "We will continue to offer scratch baking in 257 stores but we’re making some changes to our 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 we’re converting the bakery to full bake-off where all products are delivered pre-prepared, then baked and finished in store.
"Our bakeries are an important part of our offer for customers and will remain so.
"However, over recent years, we have seen a big shift in customer tastes and preferences.
"Customers are 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, we have undertaken a review to make sure our bakery operation is relevant for the way the market and our customers have evolved.
"Due to some stores doing less scratch baking, as well as the simplified routines these changes will bring, we will unfortunately need fewer colleagues to work in these areas.
"As a result, there are 1,816 bakery colleagues being put at risk of redundancy.
"Due to some stores doing less scratch baking, as well as the simplified routines these changes will bring, we will unfortunately need fewer colleagues to work in these areas..."
"At this difficult time, our priority will be to support those colleagues impacted, including finding an alternative role from the many thousands of vacancies we will have available across our store networks between now and May, for those who wish to stay with us."
Jason Tarry, Tesco's UK 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.
"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.”
It has not yet confirmed in which stores staff will be at risk.
Last summer the retailer axed 4,500 jobs across its Express stores.
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