Chocolate retailer Thorntons has announced plans to permanently shut all its 61 stores – putting 603 jobs at risk in the latest blow to Britain’s hard-hit high streets. The British retailer has been hit hard by the pandemic, which has kept many of its stores shut for ‘key trading periods’ around Christmas and Easter.
Thorntons – which is owned by confectionery giant Ferrero – had pumped £45million into transforming its operations – including new store formats and cafes.
But plans were thrown into chaos when the pandemic hit – with the retail director Adam Goddard also blaming ‘changing dynamics of the high street’ for its demise. While stores are no longer viable for the firm – which was founded in Sheffield in 1911 – it has seen sales surge online and hopes to grow its international supply business from its Alfreton factory.
The collapse of the business is the latest high-profile failure on the UK high street, which has been battered by large periods of closures and depressed footfall. New figures this weekend revealed that more than 17,500 chain store outlets disappeared from high streets last year alone.