Thorntons sees 7.6% fall in sales
Thorntons saw sales decline by 7.6% to £46.5 million in the 14 weeks to 1st October. The chocolate retailer said the results were in line with management expectations.
Commercial channel sales declined by 4.9% to £18.9 million. The difference in growth, compared to the same period last year, reflects the timing of retailers' Christmas orders which will now fall into the second quarter. The order book for Christmas trading, however, remains strong and in line with expectations.
In a continuing tough retail environment, own store sales declined by 10.1% to £23.4 million with a like for like sales decline of 7.8%.
Thorntons Direct sales dropped 8.1% to £1.2 million due to the loss of a large corporate order. However, consumer online sales continued to grow by 5.1% year on year.
Jonathan Hart, CEO, commented: "As expected, the retail environment continues to be challenging with weakness in High Street footfall. Our consumers remain cost conscious and continue to select promoted products. Our programme to improve Own Store merchandising and layout launches in October. We are now starting to roll out our new ranges of 'little gifts' into the stores and are pleased with our strong Christmas seasonal offer across all channels.
"The commercial sales order book for Christmas is in line with our expectations and we would expect to report strong year on year growth within this channel by the half year."
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