Thorntons announces closure of all UK stores

Mon, 15 Mar 2021 | ADMINISTRATION

Historic chocolate company Thorntons has announced that it plans to close all 61 of its UK stores, putting 600 jobs at risk.

According to bosses at the chocolatier, the decision has been made to go into full consultation as the pressures of ‘changing high street dynamics’, an increase in online sales and numerous restrictions put in place as a result of COVID-19 take their toll on the business.

“We have been operating for a long time in a tough and challenging retail environment. Unfortunately like many other retailers, the obstacles we have faced and will continue to face on the high street are too severe,” a spokesperson said.

“Despite our best efforts we have taken the difficult decision to go into full consultation to start the permanent closure of our retail store estate. We understand that this will be an uncertain and concerning time for our colleagues and we will actively support them during this period.”

The firm has stressed that closures during key trading periods such as Easter and Christmas have contributed to the decision, although it claims to be continuing with plans to grow its online customer based and to remain committed to the ‘iconic’ brand.

Although jobs are at risk as a result of the closures, Adam Goddard, retail director at Thorntons, added that workers will be encouraged to apply for vacancies at its sites in Greenford and its headquarters in Somercotes, Alfreton.

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Founded in Sheffield in 1911, Thorntons was bought in 2015 by Ferrero International for £110 million. The firm went on to invest £40 million in the brand, but still reported a 9.5 per cent drop in sales last year.

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