Expert gives top tips as Tesco announces over 1,600 roles are at risk of redundancy

Kevin Mountford, savings expert and co-founder of Raisin UK, on the closure of all Jack’s stores and the majority of Tesco deli counters

Jack’s was founded in just 2018 and was Tesco’s discount chain that would provide competition to Aldi and Lidl. 

Tesco PLC published its ‘Making our business fit for the future’ plans last night, which outlined the closure of the Jack’s brand.

Of the 13 Jack’s stores, six will be converted to Tesco superstores whilst the remaining seven will close in the coming months.

In the six stores which are converting to become Tesco superstores, all employees will be automatically offered in-store roles at their store, with additional employees being recruited.

Tesco PLC announced that there are 130 roles across the seven Jack stores closing and head office that will be affected by these changes, but Tesco is yet to announce their fate.

Additionally, Tesco PLC announced that in 317 Tesco stores, it will be closing the meat, fish, and hot deli counters. However, no redundancies will be related to their counter closures, and all employees will be offered alternative in-store roles.

Today, Tesco also announced it is cutting evening staff with 1,600 roles now also at risk of redundancy.

Mountford said: “Tesco has been hugely affected during the pandemic. Whilst their stores did not see store closures as were classed as essential retailers, the business had to quickly adapt to their customer’s new shopping habits. Additionally, Tesco was hugely affected by the shortage of HGV drivers which saw shelves bare. Jack’s also struggled to gain consumer loyalty and failed to combat the leading discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, with only 13 stores opening in the 4 years the retailer has been open . Therefore, it isn’t a shock that Tesco is having to make such changes.”

I am a Jack’s customer, how will I be affected?

“The Jack’s stores in Hull, St Helens, Walton, Castle Bromwich, Middlewich, Barnsley and Liverpool North will be closing in the coming months, and the remaining Jack’s stores will become Tesco superstores.

“Refunds and guarantees remain valid regardless of Jack’s status, and customers can return these to their nearest Tesco store.”

I am a Jack’s employee, how will I be affected?

“The news that 130 roles at Jack’s are uncertain will be concerning for Tesco employees, and redundancies may be announced. Here are my top tips for the coming months.

  • Read up on your rights, especially when it comes to redundancy pay and settlements.
  • Look at your existing debts. Do you have outstanding balances on credit cards that you can pay off now? It may be wise to settle these whilst you can be sure on your current income.
  • Look at your monthly outgoings, is there anything you could negotiate a payment holiday for? This may help whilst you plan your next move in the short-term.
  • Prepare your CV and think about your future career options. If it seems like your job role is definitely at risk, start to think about other options and reach out to people who may be able to assist in your job search.

“You should also have a consultation period where Tesco will discuss options with you, to read about all of your rights visit the Gov.uk website.”

Andy Barr, retail expert and co-founder of online price tracking website www.alertr.co.uk, commented: “Retailers and supermarkets alike are doing what they can to stay afloat during the aftermath of the pandemic. During these hard times, we have seen that no-one is safe in terms of their job, with stores as large as John Lewis and Debenhams equally being affected.

“The cost of living is rising dramatically and with this many households are attempting to cut costs and waste where they can. With food services like Hello Fresh, Gousto and Odd Box being so wallet-friendly, time-saving and convenient, the need to physically make a trip to a supermarket to browse such fresh food counters isn’t as great as it once was.

“As we fully recover and settle from the wide-reaching effects of Covid-19, we may well see an increased need for meat and deli counters. However, for now, leaders must look to run their businesses as efficiently as possible, to reinvest in what is important for their customers and therefore continue to thrive.

“It’s going to be an incredibly tense time in the coming weeks for anyone working in Tesco as they wait to hear if their fate with the company is secure or not. At a time when costs seem to be forever rising and disposable income becomes a thing of the past for many, all we can do is hope that those who will be affected are able to find work quickly. There’s enough stress right now with costs rising, that’s before adding job security as a concern too.”