Tesco loses Harris + Hoole and Giraffe chief Michael Holmes amid Dave Lewis restructure

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
Harris + Hoole's boss has left Tesco (Source: Tesco)

Tesco has lost another senior executive, after the man in charge of its Harris + Hoole coffee shops and restaurant chain Giraffe stepped down.

Chief executive of new food experiences Michael Holmes, the man behind Tesco’s strategy to offer dining experiences in-store in a bid to pull in customers, has fallen on the wrong side of the axe wielded by new chief executive Dave Lewis, The Telegraph reports.

The exit is the latest in a string of departures as Lewis seeks to cut as many as 10,000 staff, including senior directors, head office and store employees, in a massive restructure.

The departure will likely fuel speculation that the restaurant and coffee chain are next for the chopping block as the supermarket seeks to streamline its operations.

Giraffe and Harris + Hoole were taken under Tesco's wing back in better times by former chief Philip Clarke.

It picked up the Giraffe chain for £48.6m in 2013 with plans to install restaurants in Tesco stores to make the weekly shop more of an "experience". However, weekly shops at out of town stores are being replaced by more frequent trips to Express and Metro stores, where there’s hardly room to swing a cat - let alone a Giraffe.

The supermarket also took a 49 per cent stake in the small coffee chain Harris + Hoole in the same year with similar plans. The chain has struggled, however, with six of its 40 shops closing and pre-tax losses of £12.8m at the end of last year.

In addition to these two outlets, Holmes had responsibility for Tesco’s Euphorium bakeries, in-store restaurants Decks and was recently put in charge of Dobbies garden centres and its One Stop convenience stores, The Telegraph reports

Related articles