Thorntons, the high street chocolatier led by Jonathan Hart, the former managing director of Caffe Nero, has announced plans to close up to 180 of its stores, mainly in smaller high streets and shopping centres, as a result of a strategic review of the c.360-strong business. The company will close 120 as leases expire to cut £6.5m from its annual rent bill and shut another 60 over the same period, halving its current estate, as it reacts to "significant changes in consumer shopping behaviour". Earlier this year the group reported a decline in third quarter like-for-like sales during a period it described as “extremely challenging” and impacted by “weakness in high street spending”. On the closures, Hart said: “We are seeing a number of locations where there's a high level of distress in terms of store vacancies. I don't think the high street is dead but it is going through a period of stress. It will need to adjust its prices, including rental prices, in line with demand." He said that most of the closures would be "small high street stores" and those in "convenience shopping centres". The news of the closures cam as RSM Tenon warned more than one in eight retailers are in “imminent danger” of closure. The insolvency practitioner said 67,000 companies were in danger of failing.