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Changing shopping habits lead to store format rethink for Tesco

Changing consumer habits are leading to store format changes at Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain.

The retailer has acknowledged that 70 per cent shoppers now use its 153 Tesco Metro stores – which were conceived as town centre supermarkets – as convenience stores. Customers are using the stores for regular top-up shops, rather than for the weekly shop they were designed for.

Around 4,500 jobs are at risk as a result of the changes, which will see a leaner management structure, new shelf filling strategies that allow reduced inventories in store rooms, and more flexible roles for individual employees. Product selections may also change to reflect more convenience-based shopping.

Tesco will also be reducing opening hours in some of its lower-footfall Express convenience stores, and simplifying stock routines, and there will be some changes to operational routines at some larger stores.

“In a challenging, evolving retail environment, with increasing cost pressures, we have to continue to review the way we run our stores to ensure we reflect the way our customers are shopping and do so in the most efficient way,” says Tesco CEO Jason Tarry.

“We do not take any decision which impacts colleagues lightly, but have to make sure we remain relevant for customers and operate a sustainable business now and in the future.”