Imagine life without chocolate? We couldn’t.

 Read time: 5 mins      Added: Date: 26-06-2020

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Find out how Hotel Chocolat kept the chocolate flowing when their stores closed by tripling their online sales.

Hotel Chocolat is a proud British chocolatier with happiness part of their brand’s core strategy, so when they were forced to shut their doors in March due to the global pandemic, they faced huge uncertainty over their future.

However, with a proven and viable business model before the coronavirus outbreak, the Consumer and Corporate Institutional Debt teams from Lloyds Bank were able to provide the certainty of support by way of a £35m revolving credit facility, replacing its previous £10m overdraft facility.

Having access to this facility helped ease Hotel Chocolat’s working capital squeeze as they continued to prepare for their key Christmas period and placed a focus on their online capabilities to meet demand.

The support also meant they could continue to reengineer the factory to allow their staff to work safely at their key employment site in Huntingdon, as well as give a little back by way of a 50% discount offering for all NHS and emergency workers.

Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: "Hotel Chocolat is a strong brand with differentiated products, a loyal customer base, and a vertically integrated direct-to-consumer business model, built for agility.

"The financial headroom gave us greater resilience against ongoing disruption and enabled us to move onwards with longer-term growth opportunities."

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive

Hotel Chocolat

Andrew Mitchell, associate director, Lloyds Bank, said:

“Hotel Chocolat is an iconic high street brand which had to close its doors temporarily. Our support has ensured everyone can still enjoy their wonderful chocolate through a fantastic online offering and also by visiting their modified stores safely.”

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