Leeds Thorntons chocolates shop in White Rose Shopping Centre to close permanently

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The Thortons chocolates shop in the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds is set to permanently close.

It comes as the historic chocolate company, founded in Sheffield in 1911, said it had taken the ‘difficult decision’ to go into full consultation to start the permanent closure of its 61 shops.

Some 603 staff are affected.

The White Rose store was the last Thorntons shop in Leeds, after the closure of the Commercial Street site in the city centre in January 2020.

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The White Rose Shopping Centre in Beeston, Leeds.The White Rose Shopping Centre in Beeston, Leeds.
The White Rose Shopping Centre in Beeston, Leeds.

It has since been taken over by jewellery brand Chisholm Hunter.

In a statement, the company said: "Like many companies, we have been operating for a long time in a tough and challenging retail environment.

"We have been committed to transforming and growing a successful Thorntons retail estate; this has included significant investments to open new format stores and cafes and ensuring we had stores in the right locations.

"However, changing dynamics of the high street, shifting customer behaviour to online, the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and the numerous lockdown restrictions over the last year - especially during our key trading periods at Easter and Christmas - has meant we have been operating in the most challenging circumstances.

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"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.

"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."