Tesco has confirmed up to 9,000 jobs are at risk at its head office and in stores as part of efforts to “simplify” the business.

The major supermarket retailer cited the “competitive and challenging market” when explaining the cuts.

Reports said the chain will cut its fish and delicatessen meat counters and begin using frozen dough within its bakeries, minimising the need for skilled bakers.

The move will affect most of Tesco’s 732 bigger stores.

According to the Mail on Sunday, counters in a handful of the biggest Extra stores will open on Thursdays to Sundays, while others are earmarked for closure or being scaled back dramatically.

Jason Tarry, the firm’s UK and Ireland chief executive, added: “In our four years of turnaround we’ve made good progress, but the market is challenging and we need to continually adapt to remain competitive and respond to how customers want to shop.

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