Tesco to close its non-food website - putting 500 jobs at risk

Supermarket giant Tesco has announced plans to close its Tesco Direct website, putting hundred of jobs at risk.

The retailer said the non-food website, which sells a range of general merchandise, including technology, homeware, clothing and toys for delivery or collection, was a "small, loss-making part of the business" and had "no route to profitability".

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Tesco will close the Tesco Direct website on 9 July and the Fenny Lock distribution centre in Milton Keynes in late August.

The decision means around 500 workers are now at risk of redundancy.

Charles Wilson, Tesco's UK chief, said the retailer wanted to focus on one website so that customers could buy groceries and non-food items in one place.

"This decision has been a very difficult one to make, but it is an essential step towards establishing a more sustainable non-food offer and growing our business for the future," he said.

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'Devastating news'

Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw national officer, said: "This is devastating news for Tesco Direct staff.

'Usdaw officials and senior reps will now enter into consultation talks with the company where we will look closely at the business case for the proposed closure.

"Our priorities will be to support, advise and represent our members through this difficult period, and to get the best possible deal for them."

Clive Black, at Shore Capital, said Tesco Direct had been losing money since its inception in 2006.

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"This is a clear signal that the company is taking decisive action and is the first demonstrable statement by Charles Wilson since he joined the group in early March," he added.

Tesco is the second major UK retailer to announce job cuts in recent days, with Marks & Spencer earlier revealing plans to close down 100 of its stores by 2022.

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