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  1. National

Tesco CEO: We have very difficult changes to make

Tesco's new chief executive Dave Lewis acknowledged that the supermarket has "some very difficult changes to make" as it unveiled new measures in a bid to reduce its capital expenditure and cut costs by £250 million a year.

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.

Our recent performance gives us confidence that when we pull together and put the customer first we can deliver the right results.

– Chief executive Dave Lewis

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  1. National

Tesco: 'Most' of 43 stores to close are Express outlets

Most of the 43 Tesco stores to close will be Express outlets Credit: PA

The 43 unprofitable Tesco stores facing closure are "mostly" Express outlets, the retailer told ITV News.

The supermarket said it would be consulting with store employees affected by the closures "over the coming weeks".

Our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and we have had to face up to some very tough decisions, including the closure of 43 unprofitable stores.

Our first priority is to consult colleagues who are impacted by these changes and we will be speaking to them over the coming weeks.

– Tesco spokesman
  1. National

How Tesco plans to save £250 million a year

Tesco said it would reduce its capital expenditure for next year to £1 billion Credit: PA

Beleaguered supermarket Tesco has unveiled a raft of measures it hopes will turn around its fortunes.

With the company's pension deficit and debt levels growing, Tesco said it would reduce its capital expenditure for next year to £1 billion, from no more than £2.1 billion this year and cut costs by £250 million a year.

Tesco's money-saving plans include:

  • Closing 43 unprofitable stores
  • Closing it final salary pension scheme
  • Shutting its main headquarters in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, in 2016, moving to Welwyn Garden City
  • Restructuring central overheads to save an estimated £250 million a year
  • A "significant revision" to its store-building programme - with plans for 49 new stores scrapped
  • Selling off Tesco Broadband and UK download business Blinkbox to TalkTalk
  • Exploring options to sell its Dunnhumby data business, as well as cancelling a final-year dividend for 2014/15
  1. National

Tesco staff across UK await news on store closures

Tesco is not yet disclosing the locations of the 43 stores to close but Mr Lewis revealed that a "significant proportion" would be Tesco Express convenience shops Credit: PA

The 43 Tesco stores facing closure have not yet been made public but a "significant proportion" will be Tesco Express convenience stores at sites across the country.

New chief executive Dave Lewis has not yet indicated the scale of the job losses at the beleaguered supermarket, with full details set to be known by April.

Employees affected by the closures will be informed over "coming months".

Head office jobs will also see cuts as Tesco cuts overheads by 30%.

Mr Lewis said he understood how the announcement would hit "hard-working people", adding: "I am not immune to the impact of the decisions we have had to take on our colleagues."

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Tesco hires Halfords CEO as new UK and Ireland boss

Tesco will close its headquarters in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, in 2016 Credit: PA

Unveiling a raft of measures, Tesco announced the appointment of Halfords Chief Executive Matt Davies as the new boss of its UK and Ireland business.

The supermarket's new CEO Dave Lewis described him as "an experienced retailer with a proven track record of turning around businesses".

He will take up the position on June 1.

Ultra Low Emission Zone could have 'damaging consequences' for small businesses

A new Ultra Low Emission Zone in London could do more harm than good- according to the London Region of The Federation of Small Businesses. It's concerned that some heavy diesel vehicles could end up paying three charges a day- and is calling for a new and improved scheme to replace the Congestion Charge, Low Emission- and the proposed Ultra Emission Zone.

Concerns over Ultra Low Emission Zone

Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

" Congestion in London damages the competitiveness of businesses in the city and the FSB supports a demand based approach in the capital, however, fairness is critical to small businesses who need to compete with their larger counterparts. It is our opinion that these blunt instruments have disproportionate impacts on smaller businesses and that TfL and The Mayor of London should act now before more small businesses are priced out of London."

Proposed zone aims to improve London's air quality

The new zone- proposed for 2020- intends to improve air quality in the capital and remove from the roads vehicles which contribute disproportionately to air pollution. The public consultation for the zone closes on Friday.

Report: 'Damage to city's ability to stay open for business'

A London First report set to be published this week said pressure from other parts of Britain to reduce immigration was damaging to London’s ability to “stay open for business”.

Report cites 'damage to London's ability to stay open for business'. Credit: PA

The report, which will be published this week, also said pressure from other parts of Britain to reduce immigration was damaging to London’s ability to “stay open for business”.

London faces growing competition from alternative hubs, such as Singapore, that are geographically, culturally and linguistically closer to large emerging markets.

National public opinion and hence UK government policy could put pressure on some of the critical underpinnings of London’s [leading position], in particular its openness to immigration and its relationship with the European Union.

– London First report

A London First report was covered by the FT. It also says that the UK airport capacity and the visa system also need to be improved.

Report says UK hostility to migrants threatens London

A new report says that the UK's hostility to immigrants and the European Union is threatening the capital's status as one of the world's leading business cities.

Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned the report. Credit: PA

The business lobby group London First's briefing, which was commissioned by Mayor Boris Johnson, says that Britain must build relationships with emerging markets like Asia, the FT (£) reports.

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