Tesco’s new boss Dave Lewis has received 1,300 emails from staff with suggestions on how to improve the business.

Lewis, who was parachuted in a month early last week following a profit warning, emailed all 500,000 staff on his first day and asked them to contact him directly with their thoughts on the business. He is understood to have spent ten hours reading the emails.

Lewis said in the email that while Tesco is experiencing “challenging times” it will “emerge stronger”. He said: “With a relentless focus on our customers and a preparedness to challenge ourselves and take bold decisions we can retain our position as the customers’ champion.”

Grocery Insight director and retail blogger Steve Dresser said: “Engaged staff deliver better service, they understand the overall direction of the company and feel good about the business. The turnaround by Justin King at Sainsbury’s centred around the colleagues and their engagement, ensuring they understood the business direction and the wider strategy.”

Dresser said the idea that staff can speak to the top floor is “vital in a retail world that is increasingly cut throat with a real trend for centralized decision making”.

He said staff “appear to be right with him”.