Tesco closes stores, head office as part of turnaround

Flailing supermarket chain Tesco announced it would shut down its head office along with 43 stores as part of a drastic move to try and turn around ailing sales.

Britain's largest retailer announced comparable sales for the 19-week period leading up to January 3 were down 2.9 percent and that it would move its historic headquarters from Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City in 2016, reported The Huffington Post.

The restructuring is expected to save 250 million pounds a year.

Just recently, the company had announced it would sell its Blinkbox download business to TalkTalk and was exploring options to sell off its Dunnhumby data business.

Also, the company has announced it will slash prices on some of its best-known products. Prices will drop an average of 25 percent on 380 branded goods, reported Reuters.

"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," said Dave Lewis, Tesco's CEO. "Our recent performance gives us confidence that when we pull together and put the customer first we can deliver the right results."

He apologized for the company needing to pull out of store building projects in 49 communities.

Lewis has also named Matt Davies, credited with turning around retailer Halfords, as the head of Tesco's U.K. business. Lewis took the helm in July when Philip Clarke stepped down as CEO amid major company profit warnings. The company had reported that quarterly comp-store sales dropped 3.7 percent. Not long after, Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent announced he would step down after it was discovered that an accounting error contributing to falling profits went back further than expected.

For more:
-See this Huffington Post article
-See this Reuters article

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