Shoppers said the closure of the Body Shop store near the Broad Marsh site in Nottingham was “devastating”. Town center residents reacted with sadness after the beauty chain said its Albert Street store closed on Thursday March 24 after 32 years in business.
The Body Shop, known for its cosmetics, skincare and fragrances, employed nine members of staff and put names there on a sign in its window – Laura, Jen, Julie, Libby, Mikki, Millie, Ayesha, Hannah and Ellie. It joins a long list of closures in the area, following Carphone Warehouse and Sketchers.
One customer, Michael Callan, said it was “devastating”. “It all comes down to Intu not being able to follow through with their plans for the Broad Marsh, which ultimately created the mess we’re in right now,” the 36-year-old said. “The council still hasn’t addressed the issue, and because of that there aren’t really any businesses that can survive or are ready to take over the units that are now empty in and around the area. “
Read more: Body Shop announces closure of Nottingham store after 32 years
“But if the council doesn’t start doing more, all you’re going to see is more businesses are going to close here – and your big businesses that are here are going to keep going because there’s no more buyers here.”
Laura Meakin, a 32-year-old hairstylist from Sherwood, said: ‘I think it’s really sad to see businesses closing, even if it’s big chains like The Body Shop. That doesn’t really bode well for the future of downtown businesses, does it?
“If they can replace it, or any of those businesses really, with new, vibrant independent businesses, I think that would be good for the region. It would be a new jolt of energy that I think it needs. .”
The old Body Shop – which has yet to be listed by agents – is one of a number of vacant stores on the street. The trail leads to Lister Gate, which has experienced a number of closures since the pandemic, including Boots, WH Smith, River Island, and Thorntons.
Rick Martin, a 48-year-old business owner in Nottingham, added: “The council needs to play to the strengths of the city centre, I think, rather than just being like any other city. You look at cities like Manchester or Liverpool for example, and they all have a niche or something that they famously do, right? But we don’t.
“We have a lot of local history in Nottingham, but apart from the castle we don’t really celebrate it. And that history is something that we as a city have that other cities don’t. We have the castle and the caves and all sorts of other cool things. It would be nice to see them finally do something to celebrate this history.