Thorntons: the future looks sweet
Thorntons Plc has announced it preliminary results for the financial year ending 30th June 2007: its revenue increased by 5.3% to £186.0 million compared to £176.6 million during the same period in 2006 and pre-tax profits rose by 36.5% to £7.1million (2006: £5.2 million). The reasons given for this improvement have been put down to improved store and online sales environments as well as new products and an improved customer service.
Just as sales in the company-owned stores grew by 1.7% so they increased in their franchise businesses, too, namely by 1.5%. The number of franchised stores in the network increased by 6 during the twelve-month period to a total of 218 outlets and the company has stated in its report that it is expecting a further 40 new shops to be up and running before Christmas. Its medium-term goal is to have set up a network of 300 franchise stores around the country.
Thorntons was founded by Joseph William Thornton in 1911 when he opened a sweet shop with his son in Sheffield. Since then it has developed into a well-known brand for high quality chocolates. According to information provided by the company, a Thorntons franchise does not operate as a stand-alone store and their franchisees can either be individuals wishing to become a retailer or established retailers. The franchise stores are normally run together with a second line of business such as a card and gift shop. Franchisees are provided with much support and have their own franchise business manager, who works in the field and helps the franchisees to first set up the store and then provides assistance with ongoing operations, for example, product management and merchandising.
retailing of confectionery
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