Tesco axing Metro format in huge supermarket shake-up with 147 stores affected

Tesco is set for a huge shake-up as Britain's biggest supermarket is axing it's Tesco Metro format.

The move will see the end of the outlets after nearly three decades and dozens more stores rebranded into superstores this summer.

According to reports, 147 Tesco Metro stores will be rebranded into Express and Extra superstores instead.

It comes two years after Tesco launched a restructuring into Metro stores following a decline in sales due to market competition.

The changes were reportedly announced internally to staff on Tuesday, with the rebranding set to be carried out over the next few months.

A total of 89 Metros will be rebranded as Tesco Express stores, with the remaining 58 becoming superstores.

A spokeswoman told The Mirror that stores will receive new fascias over the coming months but will continue to trade normally throughout.

She added that no colleagues are affected by the changes in addition to the 4,500 jobs cut in 2019.

Nearly three years ago, Tesco revealed plans to restructure its city-centre-based Metro arm, which launched to the public in 1994.

The retailer announced 4,500 job cuts at the time and scrapped dozens of lines from supermarkets.

Tesco said the move was part of "operational changes" to the way it runs Metro stores in the UK.

It said in a statement: "The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop.

"The Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day."

The chain also reduced opening hours at dozens of stores and "simplified" a number of it's lines.

On Tuesday, a message to staff reportedly read: “Over the last few years, we have seen our customers' shopping habits change and we have taken the decision to re-brand all of our Metro stores to better reflect this.

“Our Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.

“To ensure our offer continues to serve the needs of our customers, 89 of our Metro stores will re-brand to Tesco Express. The remaining 58 Metro stores will have their Metro signage removed and be referred to as Tesco Superstores.

“These stores will receive new fascias over the coming months but will continue to trade normally.”

Tesco revealed last month that it's pre-tax profits fell to £825million in the 12 months to February, compared with £1.3billion a year earlier.

It said it's profits were affected by £892million in Covid-related costs and the company's decision to hand £585million in business rates relief back to the Government.

Its banking division Tesco Bank also reported a £175million operating loss.

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A Tesco spokesperson added: “Over the last few years, we have seen our customers’ shopping habits change and we have taken the decision to re-brand all of our Metro stores to better reflect this.

"Our Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.

“To ensure our offer continues to serve the needs of our customers, 89 of our Metro stores will re-brand as Tesco Express. The remaining 58 Metro stores will have their Metro signage removed and be referred to as Tesco Superstores.”

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