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Thorntons Issues Profit Warning As Easter Sales Melt

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13264189

Thorntons has issued a profit warning after the hot weather over Easter led to a sharp drop in its chocolate sales.

The retailer said the hot weather in the Easter week contributed to a 22.8% drop in like-for-like sales compared with the same week last year.

The Easter trading period accounts for about a third of all store sales in the first four months of the year.

It now expects pre-tax profits for the year to 25 June to be £3m-£4.5m, down from the £6.1m it reported last year.

The Derbyshire-based company had previously expected profits to be about the same level as last year.

Now it's the hot weather that affects sales.

Is there no sort of weather that doesn't adversely affect sales?

Looks like a chocolateless recovery...

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Shops really got their hopes up. I noticed they starting eggs early in early February.

---

Hot weather, cold weather, snow, nuclear leaks, death of Bin Laden, the excuses are endless.

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I was in Tesco yesterday and they still have Easter eggs on their shelves....

Normally they sell some off cheap on Easter Monday then they are all gone.

Easter was over a week ago now.

I think people really did cut back this year.

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I blame the fact that the royal wedding bank holiday combined with a late Easter this year.

Also the fact that it's ridiculously expensive. Along with all Easter eggs. I just bought a couple of 500g blocks of galaxy. Much cheaper :)

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Morrisons near me have hundreds and hundreds still. All half price or less now though.

The massive TV ad campaigns by supermarkets must have dented their sales.

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Couldn't they melt them down and make them into Bin Laden heads?

There's 300m Americans who'd buy them shoot them up in their back yards.

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So cold weather in February affected sales, and now hot weather at Easter, traditionally a time when a lot of people buy chocolate eggs? Who are these jokers trying to kid? What next, mediocre weather affecting sales? Just admit we're in ************ recession!

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Sales were worse than eggspected.

No yolk, please!

I really think the Thornton people need to get some top notch marketeers to help them. I don't think their products are at all bad. They've tried to have a web sales strategy, but it's not really done as well as it should have.

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No yolk, please!

I really think the Thornton people need to get some top notch marketeers to help them. I don't think their products are at all bad. They've tried to have a web sales strategy, but it's not really done as well as it should have.

Web sales are irrelevent.

Their problem is that they started selling their brand in supermarkets years ago. Bit by bit this is eroding the uniqueness of the shops, and if you look closely at their sales their own store sales are collapsing as the sales to Grocers expands. Trouble is, the grocers will squeeze them and their Own Store overheads will stay the same as sales decline. Some bright spark will probably respond by shutting stores, but then their unit development costs will blow up. If they carry on they'll just sell to Grocers but they have a business based on high margins and they simply won't be able to survive selling on that basis alone.

It's a massive strategic error made well before this guy was in charge, and one they could maybe reverse only if they went private.

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They are diversifying into coffee shops, I've noticed. One problem, there are too many coffee shops already.

They need to break the mold.

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Roll on phase 2 of the depression. More High Street names collapsing with massive debts, more bailouts needed for the banks, more QE needed to bridge the deficit, more ZIRP to bailout the indebted and more diluted pounds to buy an ounce of gold or silver (or pretty much anything else for that matter). B)

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I always wondered what the point of Thorntons was. Right from the start they mastered presentation over quality (years ahead of their time); the stuff was even worse than Cadbury's - hard, brittle, tasteless - and that's going some.

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Part of the problem with easter eggs this year, was their prices !!!

I looked at them, shock my head and walked away.

I could afford one, but the price would put me off.

I'm sure there are many people out there that couldn't afford the asking price this year.

We need a good healthy dose of deflation.

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Web sales are irrelevent.

Their problem is that they started selling their brand in supermarkets years ago. Bit by bit this is eroding the uniqueness of the shops, and if you look closely at their sales their own store sales are collapsing as the sales to Grocers expands. Trouble is, the grocers will squeeze them and their Own Store overheads will stay the same as sales decline. Some bright spark will probably respond by shutting stores, but then their unit development costs will blow up. If they carry on they'll just sell to Grocers but they have a business based on high margins and they simply won't be able to survive selling on that basis alone.

It's a massive strategic error made well before this guy was in charge, and one they could maybe reverse only if they went private.

Your argument seems very convincing to me - as I suspected they've messed up their marketing strategy. Regardless of the overall economic situation, they're on a slow descent to oblivion if they rely on the supermarkets to earn them profit.

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Sales were worse than eggspected.

People just can't afford to shell out for eggs.

Most the kids I know want cash as a present rather than an egg. They have also snagged on to the fact they can buy a bar cheaper and pocket the change for alcopops and meow meow etc.

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I spent £60 in Thorntons this year and while waiting for my eggs to be personalised with iced Easter messages I noticed they were missing a big trick - no chocolate liqueurs!

(Going down market has also proved to be a mistake. As always you get a one-off profit boost and then it's downhill from there on. Retailers from 200 years ago could have told you that.)

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I went into a choc shop just before easter - boss was in panic about stock that was left. Only thing she was selling was creme eggs! This is to do with falling disposable income. Nothing else. Thorntons clearly don't want to suggest sales will continue to struggle!

Edited by gruffydd

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Haven't bought an Easter egg in years decades.

And if I were planning to buy one, I'd go to one of the big supermarkets like Tesco.

(I guess I'm part of the problem, not part of the solution.)

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So cold weather in February affected sales, and now hot weather at Easter, traditionally a time when a lot of people buy chocolate eggs? Who are these jokers trying to kid? What next, mediocre weather affecting sales? Just admit we're in ************ recession!

No

It was not cold weather in February and hot weather at Easter that affected sales it was the wrong kind of cold weather and the wrong kind of hot weather.

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