The UK’s favourite chocolate shop, Thorntons, has announced plans to close some under-performing stores. This news shows that the deepening crisis in the retail sector is still continuing and consumers are buying less top quality products.
In addition to just selling chocolates Thorntons run many small coffee shops as part of their stores which are very popular. In the summer many also serve Thornton’s own ice-creams which makes a real special treat on a hot sunny day.
120 Stores in 3 Years
Thorntons plans to close at least 120 stores over the next few years to cut costs. After a analysing its whole business the board concluded that they could not continue operating a profit with more than 200 stores in the UK. This is most likely due to some individual stores making losses.
Jonathan Hart, the CEO of Thorntons, stated that although trading is currently in line with their predictions for the year the high street stores continued to show weaknesses which they were struggling to deal with. Thorntons still remains a strong brand in supermarkets and in online sales.
100 Years in Business
Thorntons was founded in 1911 by Joseph William Thornton. It is the largest independent chocolate maker in the UK and has an annual turnover of around £180 million. In addition to its 400 shops and cafes it also has 200 global franchises and a strong mail order and Internet presence.
Thorntons is listed in the FTSE Fledgling Index which is the 200 largest companies after the FTSE All-Share Index. The FTSE Fledgling Index largely consists of investment trusts and asset management companies.