Thorntons, the 110-one year-ragged British chocolatier and retailer, acknowledged on Monday it may well probably per chance well permanently close all 61 UK stores, including in Belfast and Newtownards, putting 603 jobs at risk, blaming the affect of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Extra than one lockdowns in Britain hang heaped stress on store-based retailers already struggling with tight margins and intense competition from purely on-line gamers.
Thorntons, which modified into as soon as got by Italian group Ferrero in 2015 for £112 million (€130 million) acknowledged the challenges it confronted to shopping and selling had been “too severe” and it may well probably per chance well enter a consultation with impacted group.
“(The) altering dynamics of the high road, transferring customer behaviour to on-line, the ongoing affect of Covid-19 and the a enormous alternative of lockdown restrictions over the last one year … has meant we hang now been shopping and selling in essentially the most challenging situations,” acknowledged retail director Adam Goddard.
He acknowledged Thorntons’ strategy going ahead may well per chance well be to focal point on its on-line channel, where earn sales had elevated 71 per cent over the last one year, and on promoting by grocery retailers.