|Industry|| food industry |
|Founded||Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England (1911 )|
|Founder||Joseph William Thornton|
|Headquarters||Alfreton, Derbyshire, England|
Number of locations
Number of employees
Thorntons is a British chocolate brand, which was established by Joseph William Thornton and his father, in 1911. The company has been owned by the Italian firm Ferrero since June 2015, in the sale at £112m.A net loss, in its annual report of 2016, was £30.8 million, the result prompting a drop in staff and shops nationwide.
Since Cadbury became part of the wider food group, Thorntons has the largest confectionery only parent company in Britain. It has established toffee and fudge lines, but the group shifted its specialism, after post war rationing ended into chocolate, especially its wide Continental, Swiss and Belgian chocolate sets, which form the bulk of sales.
Through the financial year of 2017 to 2018, sales and production increased; and few shops have been opened, and some diversified into cafés.
Reducing its need for fixed capital kept in its own shares, as is common for subsidiaries, the company reverted to a private limited company in English corporate law, in November 2016, receives notices in group to its registered office in Greenford, outer West London, retaining its main office and production, in an old town in Amber Valley, between Derby and Sheffield.
Thorntons began in Sheffield in 1911, the business being started by Joseph William Thornton, who co opened the company's first shop, at 159 Norfolk Street. Norman, his son, became the manager, at the age of just 15. Peter Thornton (grandson of the founder) served as chairman of Thorntons, but was dismissed in June 1987.
After rapid expansion, the results of 2009 showed turnover increasing to £214.8 million, but operating profit decreasing to £7.94 million. A perennial seasonality, in sales, disappointed strategists and employees. 35% of the sales were in the seven week period before Christmas, and 10%, shortly before Easter Sunday.
The scale of impact of this, on manufacturing and service, are more pronounced than the average in the food sector, necessitating temporary staffing. Jonathon Hart joined the business, as chief executive officer, in January 2011. Following another resultant strategic review, in June 2011, Thorntons announced it would close between 120 and 180, of its shops.
It was announced in June 2015, that chocolate producer Ferrero would buy Thorntons, for £112 million. [ citation needed ]Thorntons Ltd are 75% owned by Ferholding UK Ltd, which, in turn, is controlled by Giovanni Ferrero (who holds over 50% of voting rights).
The current, main advertising slogans are:
Thorntons set up a very rare edible billboard, on 3 April 2007, which exceeded four metres length; 14.5 by 9.5 ft (4.4 by 2.9 m) and 390 kg (860 lb)– it was framed outside their shop in Covent Garden, London, and was eaten, within the space of just three hours. The structure included ten chocolate bunnies, seventy two giant chocolate eggs, and 128 chocolate panels, each weighing 2 kg (4.4 lb).
The promotion sought to regain lost custom to competition, and a move away from deluxe chocolate gifts, in recent festive sales, as well as poor sales over the summer of 2006.
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