THE town centre will suffer another blow when Thorntons shuts up shop in two weeks.

The chocolate chain’s Parade unit will be emptied on September 7 after the retailer decided it no longer needed to have two branches open in Swindon.

Thorntons is owned by Ferrero. A spokesman for the company said: “Like any retailer, we are continuously reviewing our store estate to ensure we are in the locations that meet our customer needs.

“As a result of such a review, the decision was taken to close the store in Swindon on September 7.

“Currently, two staff members are employed at the store and we are looking to find them other employment opportunities where possible.

“Thorntons has been delighted to serve our many local customers over the years and we would encourage them to shop for their favourite Thorntons products at our Swindon Great Western store or online in the future.”

The branch in the MacArthur Glen Designer Outlet will continue to stay open as normal for the foreseeable future.

Over the last few months, Swindon shoppers have been left reeling from other shop closures around the town centre including the Argos and Starbucks in the Brunel Shopping Centre.

Last week, we reported that the large Morrisons in Regent Circus could close in November.

The news came mere months after the Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant shut in the same complex earlier this year.

Shoppers who spotted the closure announcement sign in Thorntons' window expressed their sadness and surprise online.

Zoe Fox said: "RIP Swindon, hardly any shops left now."

Lucy Britton said: "You can buy their chocolate in every supermarket. Why they have a stand-alone store is still baffling.

"Back when it was the only place to get their products it was a different story."

Heather Edginton said: "I hate town now, there's nothing there to warrant me to go there, especially when the outlet village is only £1for 5 hours and all the other places are free car parking."

Beverley Kent said: "Sadly it’s a catch 22 situation here. you need shoppers to go into town but you need the shops for them to go to.

"Swindon was once a good shopping centre, not the best but not the worst.

"As rates increase and with the cost of car parking and other smaller shopping areas opening, it’s going to be difficult for our planners to make this right."