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Thorntons is a British chocolate company established by Joseph William Thornton in 1911. Thorntons today is a 180m turnover company with nearly 400 shops and cafes and around 200 franchises together with internet, mail order and commercial services
Thorntons operates in four customer-market segments: gifts; personal treat; family-share; and, children, each with different customer needs.


The stores offer premium and hand-crafted boxed chocolates, hampers, gift boxes, corporate gifts, and seasonal candies. Some of the Thornton shops double as cafes where patrons can get coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. The company sells sweets through its catalog and via its Web site, as well as through retailers. In addition, the company operates coffee shops under the name Caf Thorntons.
Thorntons, a UK chain of chocolatiers, has implemented G.O.L.D., a suite of retail management software from Aldata, a leading provider of software solutions for the global retail industry, to support its business growth and forward strategy.
In 1911, Joseph William Thornton opened the first Thorntons shop in Sheffield, England. Nearly 100 years later Thorntons plc now has an annual turnover of more than 160million, over 350 own shops and over 200 Franchises. The product ranges now include Ice Cream, Cakes, Biscuits, Chilled Chocolates as well as the more traditional Fudge, Toffee and Chocolates.
Historically a manufacturer, Thorntons had built up its business based around production rather retailing. Stores were a later development, during the eighties, and existing systems were developed rather than revamped.
Jim McLauchlan, Thorntons Program Manager, explains, "Our ordering ...
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