Teams of green-fleeced Tesco fresh produce staff are to become a familiar site patrolling the aisles in more than 700 Tesco stores.
Their introduction is part of a major overhaul of the UK business announced by CEO Philip Clarke this week following his admission earlier in the year that he was concerned about staffing levels, customer service and the quality of fresh food in store.
Tesco said it had received positive feedback from trials that had been carried out at 200 stores, and it would now be rolling out the changes to 500 more Extras and superstores.
Gary Ashton, manager of one the trial stores, in Horwich, near Bolton, said: “This has really helped put the pride back in produce and you can certainly feel the difference in store.
“It’s not just about more bodies, it’s about the training of staff and the way they work.”
The green-fleeced staff had been trained in how to present fresh food and were also far more visible to customers, he added.
As part of the revamp, Tesco this week pledged to create 20,000 new jobs over the next two years, many of which would go to young, local unemployed people. Starting immediately, investment would be made in additional staff hours and training in key areas such as fresh produce, fresh meat, bakery and counter services.
“We will invest in more staff on the sales floor at busy times, greater expertise and help in the crucial areas of fresh food,” said Tesco UK CEO Richard Brasher.