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Being an infamous chocoholic, the local chocolate shops are usually my first port of call during any shopping venture.
There is an obvious chocolate theme around the entire shop; as all of the decorations were colored in different shades of brown. The displays were attractive, and overall the shop was very stylish and open-plan. The shelves were well stocked with all of my favorites, and the shop looked very clean and tidy.
They sell a wide range of products, all rather expensive, but all that I have sampled are of a very good quality. Their products include traditional chocolate boxes, toffees, fudges, truffles, hollow chocolate champagne bottles, ice-cream, chocolate fountain coated items, and many more. Many of my favorite chocolates are made by Thorntons. They also sell diabetic chocolates, though I don't know how good they are.
They also offer a range of other services including icing free messages or designs on any of their gift products on request, and attractive gift wrapping costing 50p extra per item. Some of their shops have also installed chocolate fountains that not only fill the shop a rich scent of chocolate but can also provide a sweet, albeit expensive, treat.
The failing, however, was the staff. Upon entering a chocolate shop, one might expect a happy smile and joviality reminiscent to that of of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Instead I find grumpy faced goblins who would look more at home in dark alleyways; scaring small children at every opportunity.
Behind their misery was rudeness. They were short and sharp with their tones of speaking, making me feel very unwelcome; their 'can I help you' sounded more like 'buy something or get out!'.
They do not accept debit card for purchases below 5 pounds; however, they do not advertise this fact. I didn't find out until I reached the till with the patronizing woman behind the counter somehow expecting me to know this. Again, it was the tones rather than the actual words that irked me, and almost put me off making my purchase completely. Next time I intend to get my own back by taking in a bag of pennies since they don't like my cards. I have known of debit card limitations in a lot of other shops before, but they have always been brought to my attention before reaching the check-out.
Overall, the products are some of my favorites around; the shop is stylish and clean, but my experience of the staff in several of their stores has been nigh abysmal.
(N.B. I'm not saying that ALL of Thorntons staff are scary, it would be ignorant and inaccurate to say that. I am only speaking of those whom I have had less than a positive experience with. I have visited 3 different stores in my local area, all of which have had the same staff problems.)