Tesco sheds further 1,600 jobs by cutting night staff in supermarkets and petrol stations

Tesco Staff loses

Another 1,600 jobs are being cut at Tesco as Britain’s biggest supermarket scrapped night shifts in 85 shops and almost 40 petrol stations.

The potential redundancies came a day after Tesco announced it was shutting its discount Jack’s shops, the budget brand it created in 2018 to challenge Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco said that shelf replenishment would now take place during daytime trading hours in 39 large shops and 49 convenience stores while drivers will be asked to pay at the pump at 36 petrol stations during overnight hours.

One analyst said that the further redundancies were fresh evidence of the cost pressures on grocers from rising wage bills and a need to operate as leanly as possible to avoid passing on more costs to consumers in an intensely price competitive environment. Industry experts said that night shift workers typically earn £3,000 a year more than daytime workers

Tesco has outperformed its major rivals recently as its Aldi Price Match and Clubcard prices has stopped the exodus of shoppers to the discounters and boosted its market share. Tesco had the smallest decline in sales of the “Big Four” with a 1.9 per cent drop, according to figures from Kantar.

Tesco has 300,000 employees in the UK, 795 large stores and close to 2,000 convenience shops.

Jason Tarry, 54, Tesco UK and Ireland chief, said: “We operate in a highly competitive and fast-paced market and our customers are shopping differently, especially since the start of the pandemic. We are always looking at how we can run our business as simply and efficiently as possible, so that we can re-invest in the things that matter most to customers”

“The changes we are announcing today will help us do this. Our priority now is to support our impacted colleagues through these changes and, wherever possible, find them alternative roles within our business.”

Tesco said that it had 3,000 vacancies currently. While the job cuts represent about 0.5 per cent of its UK workforce it adds to the 12,000 job cuts made by the supermarket in recent years as it has restructured its head office and closed store food counters. Tesco has also reduced the opening hours of its 24 hour shops since the start of the crisis. Last month the supermarket reached a pay deal with workers at its distribution sites who threatened to strike in the run-up to Christmas.

Damien Adams, national officer of Usdaw, the shop workers union, said that it was in dialogue with the grocer and “we should not forget the role that key workers have played throughout the coronavirus pandemic and to receive this news is devastating”.