Analysis: As supermarkets cut counters are they playing into discounters’ hands?


First Asda and now Tesco are cutting roles at bakeries and food counters, so are the days of such supermarket services numbered? Retail Week considers whether such changes will work or play into the discounters’ hands.

On Tuesday, Tesco revealed it would axe around 1,800 bakery roles across its stores. The top grocer said it would change the way it produces baked goods in 259 of its large supermarkets – some items will be part-baked and others pre-prepared and finished in-store.

In early January, big-four competitor Asda said it would close all its meat and fish counters in order to pivot more to food-for-now lines such as pizzas, pies, peri-peri chicken and katsu curries.

Both grocers maintain that they are merely moving with the times. Tesco explained that it intended to adapt space and range “to cater to changing customer demand” as shoppers chomp on more bagels and wraps, rather than traditional loaves.

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