Chocolate retailer Thorntons has today announced the renewal of its affiliate programme as the retailer seeks to focus on marketing and multichannel offerings in the months ahead.
As it celebrates its centenary year, the chocolatier has renewed its partnership with tracking and management solutions firm Affiliate Window in order to implement new product launches and increase brand awareness.
Anthony Clements, Client Services Director for Affiliate Window, said that the consolidation of the deal represents one of the network’s greatest client achievements this year.
“We have built a strong relationship with the Thorntons team since launching as second-network three years ago,” he explained.
“Thorntons is one of Britain’s most unique and recognisable brands, and as it celebrates its centenary year we are looking forward to driving its affiliate programme to even greater heights by consolidating what is already an innovative approach to the channel and introducing some exciting new opportunities in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.”
It is hoped that this latest strategy will improve the brand’s standing in the high street, as the retailer recently reported a total sales decline of 7.6 per cent to £46.5 million in its first quarter of the 2011/12 financial period.
In the 14 weeks up to and including October 1st 2011, own store sales declined by 10.1 per cent to £23.4 million with like-for-like sales dropping by 7.8 per cent.
Despite these disappointing results, consumer online sales continued to grow by 5.1 per cent year-on-year as the retailer moves its focus to digital platforms.
As such, this latest partnership is a shrewd move by the retailer, ahead of its busiest period, the run-up to Christmas.
Thornton’s CEO pointed out earlier this month that the order book for Christmas trading remains strong and in line with expectations.
“We are now starting to roll out our new ranges of ‘little gifts’ into the stores and are pleased with our strong Christmas seasonal offer across all channels,” said Jonathan Hart at the time.
“The commercial sales order book for Christmas is in line with our expectations and we would expect to report strong year-on-year growth within this channel by the half-year.”
Hoping to capitalise on the opportunities available via the Affiliate Windows performance channel, Thorntons has implemented several new product launches, including Thorntons Photo Boxes, in addition to attending sector-specific network hosted events, which has helped promote seasonal activity.
Moving into the new year, the retailer is working closely with affiliate partners, promoting competition in order to help drive traffic to their multichannel offerings throughout the year.
Claire Allen, Consumer Trading & Marketing Manager for Thorntons Direct, explained the reasons for the renewed partnership.
“Affiliate Window has been incredibly supportive of our affiliate marketing strategy and proven instrumental to our level of online growth,” she said.
“Our Account Manager is as passionate about our brand as we are, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build on the successes we’ve already shared with Affiliate Window over the next 12 months and beyond.”