Tesco to close head office and 43 stores

Tesco is to close its head office and 43 unprofitable stores in a drastic bid to revive its fortunes.

The supermarket chain has also scrapped plans to open 49 “very large” stores and said it will make cuts of £250m.

The news comes in the wake of a difficult two years for Tesco, during which it was embroiled in an accounting scandal, suffered falling sales and profit warnings, and saw the departure of some senior executives.

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However, Tesco recorded a better than expected Christmas, with sales over the festive period down just 0.3% on the year before. In the previous three months, sales had dropped by 5.4%.

Dave Lewis, the new chief executive, said Tesco’s performance “gives us confidence that we can pull together” and “deliver the right results”.

He added that the changes he wanted to make to Tesco were “very difficult”, but that his team was “facing the reality of the situation".

Tesco’s headquarters are currently based in Chestnut, Hertfordshire, but will move to Welwyn Garden City in 2016. No details were given of which stores would be closed, nor of the number of job losses expected.

The firm has also announced that Matt Davies, the chief executive of Halfords Group, will take charge of Tesco’s operations in the UK and Ireland from June 1.



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