Tesco is reportedly set to scrap its Metro stores almost two years after launching a review of its stores.
Almost three decades after opening to rival smaller food stores, Tesco is calling time on Tesco Metro, with plans to rebrand 147 branches into Express and Extra superstores, instead.
It comes two years after the chain launched a restructuring into Metro stores following a decline in sales due to market competition.
The changes were announced internally to staff, with the rebranding to be carried out over the next few months.
It will see 89 Metros rebranded as Tesco Express stores, with the remaining 58 becoming superstores.
A spokeswoman told The Source, stores will receive new fascias over the coming months but will continue to trade normally throughout. She added that no colleagues are affected by the changes in addition to the 4,500 jobs cut in 2019.
The changes, which will be carried out over the next few months, were announced internally to staff, The Source reported.
In August 2019, Tesco scrapped 4500 jobs after carrying out a major overhaul of Metro.
The overhaul came as Tesco raised concerns about the rise of discounters.
The changes saw a major range rationalisation, as well as cuts to management.
Tesco’s own research shows nearly 70% of its Metros are now being used for top-up shops and food to go, with 31 per cent typically being used for main shops.
The latest announcement comes despite the changes to range and simplification of prices and promotions.
At the time, the chain announced 4,500 job cuts and scrapped dozens of lines from supermarkets.
It said the move was part of “operational changes” to the way it runs Metro stores in the UK.
“The changes in our Metro stores will be focused on better tailoring them to how our customers shop,” Tesco said in a statement.
The chain also reduced opening hours at dozens of stores and “simplified” a significant number of lines.
A message to staff read: “Over the last few years, we have seen our customers’ shopping habits change and we have taken the decision to re-brand all of our Metro stores to better reflect this.
“Over the last few years, we have seen our customers’ shopping habits change and we have taken the decision to rebrand all of our Metro stores to better reflect this,” Tesco said to staff.
“Our Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but nearly 70 per cent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.
“To ensure our offer continues to serve the needs of our customers, 89 of our Metro stores will rebrand to Tesco Express.
“The remaining 58 Metro stores will have their Metro signage removed and be referred to as Tesco Superstores.
“These stores will receive new fascias over the coming months but will continue to trade normally.”
It said profits were weighed down by £892million in Covid-related costs and the company’s decision to hand £585million in business rates relief back to the Government.
Its banking division Tesco Bank also reported a £175million operating loss.