Confectionery retailer Thorntons is seeking a new agency for its £3.3m advertising business, after the incumbent Shop went out of business.
Thorntons has started pitching for new agencies, but has yet to compile a shortlist. It is not thought to be using an intermediary in its search for a new agency. Thorntons says it will continue to work with Shop until the end of the month.
Shop won the Thorntons business last September, following a pitch against Beattie McGuinness Bungay and Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, handled by Agency Insight. Shop’s first task was a Christmas campaign to boost sales in the run-up to the festive season.
Thorntons advertising account was previously held by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, which won the business in 2000 after a three-way pitch. The agency declined to repitch for the Thorntons business in September.
In the 14 weeks to April 19, Thorntons recorded sales growth of 8.5% to £52.4m. Sales in Thorntons own stores increased 5.1% to £33.8m, with like-for-like sales growth of 0.5%. Sales in franchises grew by 12.6% to £3.6m, while commercial sales increased 14.5% to £12.8m. Thorntons says the growth in commercial sales was driven by new product listings.
The company has also been increasing sales via Thorntons Direct, a website and catalogue service.