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• The New York Times reports this morning that, es expected, Tesco announced the layoff of “thousands of employees, an attempt to fend off challenges from discount retailers and a possible Brexit downturn.

“The chain, which employs more than 440,000 people globally, said that it expected 9,000 jobs in Britain to be affected, but that half of the workers could be moved to other positions. The decision comes more than four years after Tesco started a price-cuts campaign and revamped stores to win back customers.”

Talk about the power of diminished expectations. Yesterday the speculation was that as many as 15,000 people could get laid off … and so now hearing that maybe just 4,500 people could lose their jobs doesn’t sound so bad. But I still have the question I had yesterday … if the people being laid off have customer-facing, service-centric jobs, will these moves cripple Tesco’s ability to deliver a shopping experience that differentiates it from other retailers, especially Aldi and Lidl? Is this short-term economic thinking that will affect its ability to be long-term competitive?
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