Hundreds of jobs at risk as Thorntons shops set to close permanently due to Covid impact

The chocolate company has announced today it’s closing all shops, putting more than 600 jobs at risk.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:00 pm
Thorntons has a shop inside the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.
Thorntons has a shop inside the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.

Thorntons has today announced it will go into full consultation to start the permanent closure of its 61 shops, putting some 603 jobs at risk.

It blamed ‘changing dynamics of the high street’, a rise in online shopping and ‘the numerous lockdown restrictions’ over the last year, especially during its key trading periods at Christmas and Easter.

Shops in the North East include stores at the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland and Dalton Park in Seaham.

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Thorntons’ retail director Adam Goddard said: "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. We will now go into full consultation with our colleagues.

“Our colleagues have been fantastic during this challenging time, and we would like to thank them for their continued support.”

The company said it had seen a “strong growth” in online presence and added that it was committed to supporting staff during the consultation process.

It said: “We accept that we will have to consider redundancy and we will continue to support our colleagues with enhanced redundancy and outplacement support, including one to one career coaching.

"All impacted colleagues will also have the opportunity to apply for vacancies at our Greenford and Alfreton sites and if successful, we will provide relocation support where needed.”

Thorntons was founded in 1911 in Sheffield by Joseph William Thornton.