Thorntons is considering selling branded sweets in its stores for the first time after linking up with Tangerine Confectionery in an online trial.

Thorntons last week became the first major online supplier of Tangerine products after agreeing to trial the sale of 50 of its lines, including Barratt Dip Dabs and Sherbert Fountains and Butterkist popcorn, on its website.

“We agreed to work with Tangerine because it owns lots of brands customers are very familiar with and these retro sweets are making a comeback,” Thorntons Direct chief Hannah Legg said of the trial, which runs to September. “They are not available in our stores at the moment but if the trial works well we will look into it.”

The trial would attract more people to the website, she claimed.

“Sweets are more relevant to our customers over the summer. This is the perfect time to launch the new online sweetshop as people don’t always want chocolate at this time of year.”

Thorntons was not competing with Tangerine “because sweets and chocolate are different – they complement each other”, she said.

Thorntons has not yet ruled out selling other companies’ brands in the future. It is also trialling a new Pick ‘n’ Mix range in 10 stores. As part of the three-month trial, bags of sweets will be available from 99p per 100g and cups at £2.99 and £3.99.