Chocolate retailer Thorntons has put out a statement today, 15 March, outlining plans to permanently close its UK retail store estate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Thorntons bosses said: “Unfortunately like many other retailers, the obstacles we have faced and will continue to face on the high street are too severe. Despite our best efforts we have taken the difficult decision to go into full consultation to start the permanent closure of our retail store estate.

“We understand that this will be an uncertain and concerning time for our colleagues and we will actively support them during this period.”

This news could see up to 600 jobs put at risk.

The statement concluded: “We remain committed to our iconic Thorntons brand and will continue to invest further in the future potential to ensure we evolve with the times.”