Deathwatch: Thorntons in a bad way

A-box-of-Thorntons-Contin-002Thorntons, who at the end of last year, issued its fifth profit warning in 20 months, said it would not pay an interim dividend. Bad darts, obviously.

Profits for the 28 weeks to January 7th have dropped to £618,000, compared with £8.3m in the first half. Promotions and discounts slashed margins, but alas, not seen customers dashing through the door.

It seems, in a recession, there's not much call for luxury chocolates or toffee that yanks your fillings out.

Profits before tax fell to £3.1m, which is poor considering the fact we've just come through the Christmas period.

Jonathan Hart, the chief executive, said the "economic and retail environment will remain challenging and uncertain for the foreseeable future, certainly through 2012".

Can it survive?


  • Mike H.
    Oh no, where will the chavs get their 'paid for with their dole' chocolate from now?
  • Mike H.
    @Hunt Iceland or Asda I would expect.
  • Cheesey
    People either rave about Thorntons chocolates or find them, like I do, to be utter shite. I suspect that people are realising that giving a box of Lindt or Guylian is tastier than the crap doled out by Thorntons.
  • captain b.
    Why go to Thorntons for some expensive rubbish chocolate that look as if it came straight from 2001. When you can spend even more money on posh chic awesome choccies from Hotel Chocolat!
  • Gene H.
    When your chocolate turns up in a pound shop and still doesn't sell, then you know you're in trouble. Thorntons was once the height of sophistication in the 80s amongst a certain type of aspiring middle-class older woman. Unfortunately as they die out, so do Thorntons profits. Like others, I find Thorntons offerings pretty vile. Green & Blacks, Lindt or Booja Booja for me.
  • Joff
    Thornton's cheapened their brand by selling through supermarkets. Maybe it was a premium product in its heyday but these days they've usurped by brands like Hotel Chocolat. Improve the quality of the product, make the brand desirable again.
  • Boris
    What they need here are more miserable fat women. Thornton's should start to target this market to boost sales. Big boxes for when you lose your job or boyfriend instead of this 'romance' crap. You eat more; get fatter and have eave less chance of holding down a job or man (or lady partner if that s their thing - we are open to all here in the Conservatives). Basically the same approach as any good drug-dealer.
  • rooo
    Went for a job interview there once. Never met a bigger bunch of stuck up wannabes in my life. I'm sure that 99.9% of the staff are great, unfortunately the ones I met, the ones who had enough power to make company changing decisions, were clueless idiots. No surprise to me, just a shame for all the decent hard working people who will probably lose their jobs as a result.
  • kv
    if they want to have any chance of surviving they need to pull their products out of the supermarkets, and have their products exclusively in their own shops again.
  • zeddy
    @cheesey: "Guylian is tastier" Than Thorntons? possibly. Than a bin of rancid faeces? Nope. They are utter shite too.
  • Dick
    I doubt they will survive. They think they are gourmet, when really they are pound store quality at premier prices. Good riddance to them.
  • Euan
    Bit of a shame if for no other reason than that's the last British chocolate company of any size I think?
  • Dick
    But they are shit. I prefer to use a foreign owned brand that are not shit. Green and Black's do some good dark chocolate, UK based but US owned (Kraft). Divine is also quite good, but only part UK owned - the majority shares are in Ghana, where they actually grow the stuff to make it. Although I buy based on taste, rather than the nationality or residency of the owners of the parent business.
  • Emma
    It seems, in a recession, there’s not much call for luxury chocolates or toffee that yanks your fillings out. ^^^ Not sure if that's true... heard an interview on the radio with Hotel Chocolat who are going from strength to strength. Apparently chocoloate is an affordable comfort and possibly considered "recession proof." As some of the above comment show, Thorntons are just not keeping up with the times...
  • Biff
    Thorntons used to be great in the 90's. Then they sold out, cheapened their chocolate, maximised profits. Effectively, running their business six foot under. Shame...

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