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More than 600 jobs at risk as Thorntons closes all stores

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Written by: Emma Lunn
16/03/2021
The chocolate retailer has announced that none of its shops will re-open after lockdown. It is currently consulting with its 603 staff and hopes to redeploy some of those affected.

The company, which was founded in Sheffield in 1911, was bought by Italian food giant Ferrero in 2015. Over the past five years the number of Thorntons shops has decreased from 252 to 61, although it had plans to open new format stores and cafes.

However, its plans have been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown restrictions over the past year. The restrictions mean that stores have been shut during the key trading periods of Easter and Christmas.

Thorntons said in a statement: “Unfortunately like many other retailers, the obstacles we have faced and will continue to face on the high street are too severe. 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.

“As customers continue to change the way they shop, we must change with them. We have seen a strong growth in Thorntons.co.uk and this will remain a key focus for us in continuing to provide you with your favourite Thorntons ranges, including our unique personalisation offering. In addition, we continue to invest in building our brand in grocery channels with our partners in order to meet the demand from you, our loyal customers.”

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