Up to 290,000 store workers, call center and warehouse workers at Tesco will also receive a thank you bonus, the UK’s largest supermarket chain said
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Tesco plans to open 14 Express stores and 59 new branches over the next 12 months.
The expansion comes after the Big Four grocer controversially axed its Metro store format as part of a restructuring last year.
Chief Executive Ken Murphy said the latest opening program will total over 2,000 Express stores and 1,001 stores.
“Our priority is to be the most convenient retailer,” Murphy said.
“That means serving customers where, when and how they want. No matter where our customers live or how they shop.”
Up to 290,000 store associates, call center and warehouse workers at Tesco will also receive a bonus as a special “thank you” for their efforts over the past year, the retailer added.
Tesco said it will be paying out nearly £50million in thank you rewards to staff in its stores, fulfillment and loyalty centers at the end of May, worth 1.25 per cent of their annual salary.
The group said the payout “recognises the way in which colleagues have really taken on the challenges of the industry over the past year” and comes as it reported annual profits that more than tripled to £2.03 billion.
The supermarket giant yesterday announced a series of record results, with revenue hitting £54.8 billion and retail profits rising by more than a third to £2.6 billion. But bosses said revenue could remain flat or fall to £2.4bn in the coming year as it highlighted “significant uncertainties”.
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But Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy warned retail operating profits are expected to fall to between £2.4 billion and £2.6 billion this year.
Murphy warned that earnings this year would likely be hurt by the impact of rising inflation on customers.
The group said it expects its own costs to rise and plans to invest in pricing to stay competitive amid skyrocketing food inflation.
“The external environment has clearly become more challenging in recent months,” Murphy said.
“In the face of a challenging environment for our customers and squeezed household budgets, we are focused on keeping weekly grocery shopping costs under control – by working closely with our suppliers and doing everything we can to reduce our own costs.”
Mr Murphy said the full impact of high inflation is yet to be felt, but many are “starting to consider how they’re going to manage their budgets and what trade-offs they’re going to make”.
This includes how customers react to the rising cost of living and how much Tesco is putting into stabilizing prices.
Murphy added, “We can see that customers are already paying attention to how they manage their budgets and making compromises.”
He insisted the chain would help shoppers “in their hour of greatest need”, adding: “Our focus is on keeping the cost of weekly shopping in check”.
It came as data from the Office for National Statistics showed inflation hit a new 30-year high of 7% last month.
Tesco extends its Aldi Price Match promise to more than 1,600 lines through its Low Everyday Prices and offers special offers for Clubcard members.
The company’s earnings warning came even as it increased its dividend to shareholders by more than 19% while announcing a £750m buyback program for next year.
The Mirror has asked Tesco for a full list of locations and will update this story in due course.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/tesco-open-14-new-express-26720684 Tesco opens 59 new stores and 14 more cities get an Express store