Tesco has called time on its Nutricentre health and wellbeing business, less than a year after swinging the axe on its senior team.
The grocer has revealed plans to shutter 12 standalone stores and close 11 concessions across its estate. It said it could serve customers better through its core supermarket business, rather than via the separate specialised offer.
Tesco informed staff of the decision yesterday and has launched a consultation with 137 employees who will be affected by the move.
The supermarket giant said it is in discussions with 79 Nutricentre shopfloor staff and 26 workers who were employed at its head office near West Acton.
The consultation also involves a further seven Tesco staff who were responsible for supporting the in-store concessions, as well as contractors and staff at Nutricentre’s Park Crescent store, which closed last week.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close our Nutricentre business.
“We have learned a lot through Nutricentre but we believe we can serve our customers better through our core UK business. Our priority now is to support affected colleagues.”
Retail Week revealed last May that Tesco boss Dave Lewis had placed the business under review in his bid to regain momentum in its core supermarket business.
Nutricentre managing director Amee Chande was among a host of top executives who were axed last year, casting doubt on the future of the business, for which Tesco had previously outlined ambitious growth plans back in 2014. It is understood the grocer had been eyeing up to 300 standalone Nutricentre stores and planned to roll out “hundreds” more concessions.
Chande has since joined Alibaba as its UK managing director. She departed alongside Tesco health and wellbeing head Sinead Ragonesi-Browne, health and wellbeing managing director David Wood and health and wellness category director Lucy Williams.
Last December, Tesco revealed that Nutricentre’s losses had ballooned from £2.2m to £8.3m, after sales fell from £16.1m to £14m.
A clutch of its other non-core businesses, including the Giraffe restaurant chain, Dobbies garden centre and Harris + Hoole coffee shops also posted widening losses in the 53 weeks to February 28, while profits halved at its One Stop convenience arm.