Thorntons is holding a five-way, first-stage pitch this Friday, as the chocolate manufacturer and retailer moves to implement a radical overhaul of its store interiors.
The as-yet unnamed groups will present to head of design Stuart Gordon, who joined Thorntons in January and is overseeing ‘a change in the way [Thorntons] buys design’.
Gordon is hoping to inject more ‘theatre’ into stores. ‘Chocolate is an emotional product and there’s lots of scope for making our stores more evocative and memorable. The packaging of our products is hugely important, but we need to create a feeling of theatre in stores to show them off [in the best light],’ Gordon says.
In July, Thorntons unveiled revamped packaging for its flagship Continental Chocolate and Toffee ranges, by Brewer Riddiford and Ziggurat respectively (DW 17 July). Earlier this month, the retailer announced its first profits fall in more than three years as summer trading was hit by the heatwave.
No details are available yet on timings of any new store formats, says Gordon, but a roll-out programme would kick off in major stores ‘where the impact of new interiors can best be measured’.