Famous British chocolate retailer Thornton’s said it will close at least 120 stores over the next year as part of a huge restructuring designed to deal with difficult conditions.

Thornton’s further said it may consider closing up to an additional 60 stores over that period.

Thornton’s currently operates 591 stores, including 364 “own” stores and 227 franchise stores; employing about 4,000 people.

With an ever-increasing proportion of its sales conducted online, or through other retailers like supermarkets, the company saw a need to slim down its operations.
Jonathan Hart, Thornton’s' chief executive, said: Thornton’s is a strong, trusted and highly valuable brand with excellent potential. Our goal is to refocus the business across all channels and seek to deliver industry competitive returns over the next three to five years.

Hart added: Although we see the prospect of weakness in High Street footfall and consumer sentiment continuing, I am confident that this strategy is right.