Thorntons sees drop in sales
Thursday 12 January 2012
Chocolatier Thorntons today said it had suffered at the hands of tough competition in the run-up to Christmas as cost-conscious consumers hunted for the best deals.
The group, which has 574 wholly owned and franchise stores in the UK, said like-for-like sales fell by a worse-than-expected 4.2% in the 14 weeks to January 7.
Thorntons, which in June announced plans to close up to 180 stores over three years, said consumers were "purchasing selectively" in the period as high levels of promotional activity across the market hit its sales and profit margins.
The Derbyshire-based group, which last month issued a profits warning following disappointing trade, has been hit by the consumer spending squeeze and has struggled to keep up with competition posed by supermarkets.
The company, which employs 3,000 staff and owns 7.7% of the UK chocolate market, said it expected "continued weakness" in consumer sentiment throughout 2012.
Thorntons saw its shares plunge 27% following today's update.
Matthew McEachran, retail sector analyst at Singer Capital, said: "The main negatives remain the tough retail environment and the structural problems which the company is only slowly addressing with only nine of the own stores closed since October, leaving 344, and seven of the franchise stores, leaving 230."
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...