‘Thorntons’ plight lays bare risks of chasing revenue over relevance’

Ferrero’s takeover of Thorntons is on the verge of completion

Britain’s high streets mourned the loss of another business this week. Thorntons became the latest name to shut up shop as the chocolatier said its 61 stores will not reopen when lockdown restrictions are lifted next month.

Many headlines painted the picture of another coronavirus casualty, but the cold, hard truth is that Thorntons only has itself to blame. 

Once a strong brand with a good customer base, the business lost its way spectacularly either side of its £112m acquisition by Ferrero in August 2015, supplying its ranges to almost any bidder it seemed, let alone the highest.

Thorntons chased revenues over relevance – and ended up squandering both – unwittingly becoming a corporate case study in how to destroy brand equity.

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