Chocolate supplier still struggling as supermarket austerity continues

Thorntons announced difficulty in trade late last year after a major supermarket cut its orders with the premium chocolate supplier. Now, the chocolate giant is still in trouble.
In December, Thorntons issued a profits warning after the unexpected cut in orders from grocery chains. Now, sales across the fast moving consumer goods market have fallen by 6.7 per cent, down to £26.5 million.
The chocolate manufacturer has also had a turbulent time over the last year as outlets of its own stores were shut down. In an attempt to preserve their value, the specialist chocolate makers have shut down five stores in the quarter, leaving it 243 outlets. The company is reportedly aiming to bring down its property portfolio to somewhere between 180 and 200 stores.
Chief executive Jonathan Hart warned about How the rest of the year is going to go for the premium chocolate makers, as the economy is still a tough place to be for many shoppers.
Despite reported improvements in the economy, many people still have to be careful with what they are spending. This means that shoppers tightening their purse strings will not be buying themselves leisurely items like the premium chocolate that Thornton’s offer.
It is not surprising that in the culture of price wars and austerity, that specialists like Thornton’s would suffer. When the big four stores who have been battling it out, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s manage to get back onto their feet fully, the outlook for the suppliers should also hopefully look up, but while the companies are saving all the pennies they can, not a lot can really improve.