Tesco has announced dramatic plans to cut its convenience store estate in a bid to claw back market share and turn around its fortunes.

In the wake of difficult year, the multiple is to close 43 “unprofitable” sites, many of which are Express stores, and has shelved plans for 49 sites, including Express formats.

In an effort to strengthen its finances, it plans to dispose of its broadband and Blinkbox offerings as well as undertake a “restructuring of overheads” and a “simplification of store management structures”. Tesco will also be lowering prices on some branded items and increasing shelf capacity for its 1,000 bestselling lines.

The plans were announced as part of Tesco’s Q3 statement which saw total UK sales including VAT and fuel for the 19 weeks to 3 January drop by 0.7% compared with a decline of 3.2% in the second quarter. 

Like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) decreased by 2.9% for the period, compared with a decline of 5.4% in the second quarter. 

Its Express estate saw like-for-like sales growth of 4.9% over the Christmas season.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: “In difficult circumstances the team has begun the challenging task of reinvigorating our business. There is more to do, but we have taken the first important steps in the right direction. We have some very difficult changes to make. I am very conscious that the consequences of these changes are significant for all stakeholders in our business but we are facing the reality of the situation.”

Tesco also announced Halfords chief executive Matt Davies as its new CEO for UK and Ireland. Davies will assume the role on 1 June.