Thorntons sees full-year hit on pre-Christmas sales slump

Chocolatier predicts lower earnings due to warehousing problems

Thorntons said it had seen a “significant reduction” in expected orders from the major grocers

Thorntons said it had seen a “significant reduction” in expected orders from the major grocers

 

Chocolatier Thorntons said it expects lower earnings than last year due to a decline in second-quarter sales and warehousing problems at its UK commercial business in the run-up to Christmas.

Thorntons said on Tuesday that it had seen a “significant reduction” in expected orders from the major grocers, who also took in stock later than anticipated.

British grocers have been suffering in a market hit by price deflation, stagnant wage growth and increased competition.

Cash-strapped consumers have been shopping around to save money, shying away from big weekly shops and buying little and often in local convenience stores or online.

“Short-term difficulties” at Thorntons’ new, centralised warehouse compounded its woes, with lost and late sales at its UK commercial unit leading to missed promotional slots and reorders.

Thorntons, which has already posted a drop in first-quarter sales due to subdued consumer sentiment since Easter, said the warehousing and distribution facility was now “working normally”.

Reuters