Thorntons has signed a six-year deal with HP for IT services for end-to-end management and support for IT, networking and applications at the high-street chocolate and sweet store.

Under the multimillion pound deal, HP will provide desktop and laptop services, hosting for Windows-Intel and Unix based systems, networking, and in-store electronic point of sale terminals and applications. The exact cost of the contract was not disclosed.

HP will additionally provide support for standard on-site projects such as retail helpdesks, as well as back office processing.  Application development and management services are also part of the deal.

Thorntons, which uses Oracle applications extensively, awarded the contract to HP, an existing services supplier, after work with sourcing advisory firm Orbys which conducted formal benchmarking.

Over the last three years, Thorntons has been working on a far-reaching IT and supply chain programme. In 2009, it spent £4.2 million on improvements to its IT and supply chain, £3 million on new in-store point of sale terminals, and £1.1 million on a second factory robotic packing line.