'So many memories' - end of an era as The Body Shop prepares to close Lowestoft store
PUBLISHED: 09:52 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:16 07 March 2019
A sad day looms for staff and customers alike as The Body Shop gets set to close its doors after 25 years in Lowestoft.
Saturday, March 9, marks the final day of business on London Road North for the cosmetics brand, which confirmed in January that it will not be renewing the lease on its premises.
For many, the skin care and perfume specialist’s departure from the town truly is the end of an era.
Jan Woolston has worked in the store since 1994 - the entire two and a half decades of The Body Shop’s existence in Lowestoft - and explained the tale behind her recruitment.
“My story is just one of many,” said Mrs Woolston, who lives on Pennine Way. “I had been a Body Shopper all my life, but when it came to shopping I always had to go to Great Yarmouth.
“One day I sent my CV to the franchisee but didn’t hear anything back. Five years down the line, they came to me saying they were thinking about opening a store in Lowestoft and asked whether I would like to work there.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Mrs Woolston relished going to work every single day, treasuring time spent with colleagues who went on to become firm friends.
There was fancy dress, ‘big pants and karaoke day’, shoebox appeals, ‘pound a kiss day’ and countless other activities - all held for the benefit of charities and the local community.
Mary Hill, the store’s franchisee from its opening until 2004, said the closure was a sad loss for the town.
“The Body Shop is so popular with customers in Lowestoft,” she said. “I’ve been calling for it to stay open but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
“While the shop was open we had such good fun. I may have been the big boss, but they were not my staff - they were my friends.”
Mrs Woolston, 67, added: “I’m going to miss it so much, and not just as a job because it has never felt like that. I’ve made some brilliant friends over the years and have so many memories.
“More people are shopping online nowadays, but going into a shop and getting that personal touch can’t be beaten. People will always come back if you give them that great customer experience.”