Thorntons in sales dive

Chocolatier Thorntons has said store sales were down by more than ten per cent as it predicted another year of tough conditions on the high street. Like-for-like sales at its 364 company-owned stores fell by 10.6 per cent in the eight weeks to 25 June. The firm is to close up to 180 shops over the next three years as it grows sales through the internet and through other retailers, including major supermarkets. Thorntons will take a £3.5m hit from the closures.