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Tesco to close 43 stores as part of turnaround plan

Tesco has announced plans to close its head office and 43 unprofitable stores as part of a raft of changes to help turn around the business.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Tesco to close 43 stores as part of turnaround plan

Tesco has announced plans to close its head office and 43 unprofitable stores as part of a raft of changes to help turn around the business.

The supermarket unveiled the plans as it reported that its UK like-for-like sales fell by 2.9%, excluding fuel, in the 19 weeks to 3 January, which was an improvement on the second quarter when sales fell by 5.4%.

Tesco said it will close its current head office and move it to Welwyn Garden City in 2016. It will also close its final salary pension scheme and restructure its central overheads which is expected to deliver savings of around £250 million a year.

In addition to shutting 43 stores, Tesco is planning a "significant revision" to its store building programme. It will also dispose of its Tesco Broadband and Blinkbox businesses to TalkTalk.

In a trading update Tesco said the UK performance included a gradual improvement through the third quarter and resulted in a like-for-like sales decline of 0.3% for the six week Christmas trading period.  

Meanwhile, international sales fell by 2.5% in the 19 week period.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: "We are seeing the benefits of listening to our customers. The investments we are making in service, availability and selectively in price are already resulting in a better shopping experience. A broad-based improvement has built gradually through the third quarter, leading to a strong Christmas trading performance.  

“We have some very difficult changes to make. I am very conscious that the consequences of these changes are significant for all stakeholders in our business but we are facing the reality of the situation. Our recent performance gives us confidence that when we pull together and put the customer first we can deliver the right results."

Tesco also announced that it has appointed Halfords chief executive Matt Davies as its new chief executive for its UK and Ireland business.

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