UNCERTAINTY surrounds scores of York jobs after supermarket chain Tesco announced plans to close 43 unprofitable stores.

The retail giant said it would not reveal which stores will face the axe until consultation processes are underway with all the affected staff, but said more than half of those closing will be Express shops - Tesco's convenience brand.

There are five Tesco Express stores in York in Low Ousegate, Piccadilly, Huntington Road, Acomb and Strensall, as well as larger Tesco Extra stores in Tadcaster Road and Clifton Moor.

The announcement came as the supermarket chain, which has more than 3,300 stores in the UK, revealed sales over the Christmas period were down 0.3 per cent on the year before, with comparable sales for the three months to the beginning of January down by 2.9 per cent.

In the previous three months, sales had dropped by 5.4 per cent.

As a result Tesco said it was also shelving plans to open 49 new "very large" stores, while making cuts of £250 million and reducing overheads by 30 per cent.ped on the news that it was to lose its boss to Tesco.