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Supermarket giant Tesco is set to cut more than 1,800 jobs as it makes changes to bakeries in larger stores. It said that 1,816 bakery staff were at risk of redundancy, with the changes taking place from May.

The retailer said it would convert 58 of its bakeries so they will only finish pre-baked products on-site. Jason Tarry, the head of Tesco UK & Ireland, said it needed to “adapt to changing customer demand”, with fewer people buying traditional loaves.

The move comes as sales of bagels, wraps and flatbreads is increasing, according to Tesco.

Bakeries at 257 sites will remain unchanged, with a further 201 still offering some products baked from scratch.

Mr Tarry added: “We know this will be very difficult for colleagues who are impacted, and our priority is to support them through this process. We hope that many will choose to stay with us in alternative roles.”

The firm said it would have thousands of vacancies available across its stores between February and May.

The main union representing Tesco staff, Usdaw, said the reports of job cuts were “devastating” for staff.

Pauline Foulkes, its national officer, said many of those at risk were skilled workers.

“While we will do everything possible to maintain jobs or support impacted staff to redeploy into alternative roles, the reality is the opportunities to find suitable alternative skilled roles may be limited for these workers,” she said.

Tesco is the UK’s biggest grocery chain and it employs 450,000 people worldwide.

 

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