600 jobs at risk as Thorntons withdraws from high street

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Some 600 jobs coud go at Thorntons after the chocolatier announced it was closing all of its high street outlets.

Thorntons said that all of its 61 stores will remain closed following lockdown restrictions easing.

The company said it would try and redeploy some of the 603 workers affected.

Adam Goddard, Thornton’s retail director, said: “Changing dynamics of the high street, shifting customer behaviour to online, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the numerous lockdown restrictions over the last year – especially during our key trading periods at Easter and Christmas – has meant we have been trading in the most challenging circumstances.

“Unfortunately like many others, the obstacles we have faced and will continue to face on the high street are too severe and despite our best efforts we have taken the difficult decision to permanently close our retail store estate.”

Thorntons said it will now concentrate heavily on online sales and that it remains committed to its Derbyshire factory in Alfreton.

Thorntons was acquired by Italian confectionary giant Ferrero in 2015 and since then has had a change of strategy, closing poor performing stores and making more of its product available through supermarkets and other retailers. This change resulted in its retail estate shrinking from 252 stores to the 61 which will now not reopen following lockdown.