A spokesperson for Tesco Ireland has told Retail Intelligence that the retailer has "no specific plans to make changes to our head office in ROI", adding that the business is keeping its structure and head count levels "under review" to "ensure we’re operating efficiently and [are] able to meet the needs of our customers".
Last week, Tesco's Irish business posted disappointing sales figures for Q3 and the Christmas period, with its like-for-like sales down 6.2% in the 13-week Q3 period, and 5.5% over the six weeks of Christmas, resulting in a sales decline of 6.0% over the 19 weeks.
The Tesco spokesperson added that there are "no plans" to close any stores in the ROI market.
Last week also saw the announcement that Matt Davies, former chief executive at car accessories retailer Halfords, will take on the role of Tesco UK & Ireland chief executive from June.
Following his appointment, Tesco Ireland chief executive Phil Clarke will report directly to Davies, rather than Tesco's European CEO. "This makes more sense given that the Irish & UK markets are more similar than the Irish and Polish, Hungarian & Czech markets, for example," the spokesperson told RI.
Clive Black, analyst with Shore Capital, told RI that "bringing Ireland under the control of Matt Davies is a sensible move," adding that he expects "material focus and improvement" in the Irish business in 2015.
Tesco hit another setback last week as Moody's downgraded its credit rating on the retailer to 'junk' status. "We have downgraded Tesco's ratings because of our expectation that the structural changes in the UK grocery retail market will continue to challenge the company's operating performance, even with the benefits of the significant restructuring actions announced by the company," said Moody's spokesperson Sven Reinke.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones