Cumbernauld saved from Tesco store axe

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 12:34 on 29 January 2015.
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Tesco Extra Cumbernauld. Picture: Ross Watson, taken from Georgraph under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic creative commons license.
STORE closures announced by Tesco yesterday will see more than 300 jobs lost throughout Scotland – Cumbernauld, however, has escaped the chopping block, while the plans for a new Express store in Condorrat has also been saved.

The cost-cutting measures will see 326 jobs lost throughout Scotland, with the closure of stores in Edinburgh, Grangemouth, Kirkcaldy and Troon.

Kirkcaldy looks set to be the worst affected, with the town set to lose its superstore, resulting in the axing of 189 jobs in the local area. 

Tesco can confirmed that a staff meeting was called on Wednesday (29 January) to confirm the news that the store will close on April 4.

Meanwhile, the retail giant has also lined up their Troon Express store for closure (resulting in the axing of 14 jobs), in addition to their Grangemouth Metro (68 jobs) and their Edinburgh Homeplus outlet (55 jobs).

Plans for seven new stores in Aviemore, Banff, Crieff, Cowdenbeath, East Kilbride, Glasgow and Fort William along with an extension to Tesco's Cupar branch have also been scrapped as part of the chain’s rescue plan.

Campaigners against a recent planning application to see a new Tesco Express store opened in part of Condorrat Social Club will be disappointed by the news – with the proposals not earmarked for the bin, as part of the retail giant’s plans to close 43 stores across the UK.

Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: “Earlier this month I announced that our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and that to protect the future of the business in the UK we would close 43 unprofitable stores.

“It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that stores in Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, Grangemouth and Troon are included in the 43 we plan to close. The decision to close these stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and the communities in which these stores are situated.

“Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco. I would like to thank all our customers who have shopped in our store. We will continue to do our best to serve them at our stores across Scotland and through our dotcom service.”

The cost cutting measures will result in the loss of 2000 jobs, in a bid to save £250m – and comes after a disastrous 2014 for the company, which over-stated its profits, lost consumer confidence through the horsemeat scandal, and its share price drop to its lowest for nearly 11 years.

In addition to an already growing list of problems, the company has revealed that like-for-like sales fell by 2.9% in the 19 weeks to January 3, as the chain continues to be squezzed by low-price competitors such as Aldi and Lidl.

Pauline Foulkes the National officer of the Usdaw union, which represents workers in the retail and service sector, said it would work to keep job losses to a minimum.

Pauline said: "This is devastating news for over 2000 dedicated staff in the 43 Tesco stores across the UK, who have worked hard to make their shop viable during a difficult time for the company.

"We will now enter into full and meaningful consultation meetings on this proposal, where we will look closely at the company's business case for the closures.

"Our priority is to maximise employment within Tesco, seek redeployment opportunities for members, where possible, and to keep job losses to a minimum."

In other moves to cut costs, the retail chain announced it will sell out Tesco Broadband and its UK download and streaming business Blinkbox to TalkTalk, while the firm will also close its final salary pension scheme move its headquarters from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Welwyn Garden City, next year.

The supermarket chain operates 64 superstores, 31 Tesco Extras, 28 Tesco Metros and 85 Tesco Express' across Scotland.
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