SHOPPERS reacting to the closure of The Body Shop in Salisbury have voiced concerns about the 'dying' high street.

It was announced today that a further 75 stores will close in a phased process over the next four to six weeks in a bid to keep the company alive with a "renewed focus" on online and whole sales.

A total of 489 people will be losing their jobs as a result of the closures, which Salisbury is included in.

Read more: ​Salisbury Body Shop in the Old George Mall to close

Irene Smith, who has lived in Salisbury for 40 years, was surprised The Body Shop still had a presence in the city.

She said: “There’s so much competition these days and I feel it’s a bit old hat. I went in there yesterday morning and there was a few people in there which surprised me.

“It’s a sign of the times, it’s happening all over. You feel for people who are losing their jobs.”

Salisbury Journal: The Body Shop in the Old George Mall is closing.The Body Shop in the Old George Mall is closing. (Image: Newsquest)

Irene said she has noticed, particularly in Salisbury, that there are “many shops closing” and that there is “nothing to do”.

“Everything is so expensive so we don’t do ourselves any favours. The high street is going to die.”

The Body Shop is shifting its focus online and Irene said she does some online shopping but ‘hates’ it, adding: “I want to save the high street but in most cases it’s so much easier to shop online. We’re the cause of our own demise."

Jan Rance and Wendy Clark had travelled to Salisbury from Fareham for a sightseeing and shopping trip. Jan said: “It’s sad, maybe they have not kept up with the current market they are in competition with. I think they have stayed a bit static.

Salisbury Journal: Jan Rance and Wendy Clark.Jan Rance and Wendy Clark. (Image: Newsquest)

Wendy mentioned how many shops now offer a larger range of products, rather than shoppers having to go to multiple shops to find the items they need.

“It’s a free-for-all,” she added: “I don’t know whether when Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop) died like most companies it lost its heart. It’s like having a mother who dies, and the family is gone.”

Victoria and Amelia Norris, from Wincanton, were on a Salisbury shopping trip when they were told the news. Victoria said she has not been in The Body Shop “for a long time”, adding: “It has been on the high street for a long time so it’s sat to see it go.”

Salisbury Journal: Victoria and Amelia Norris.Victoria and Amelia Norris. (Image: Newsquest)

Annabel Farmer, 53, has lived in Salisbury for seven years and said she shopped seasonally to buy gifts for family members. She said: “I think it’s a terrible loss because we have got so many restaurants and cafes and not enough places where you can buy gifts for family members.

“There won’t be any balance in Salisbury, it will be full of restaurants.”

Salisbury Journal: Annabel Farmer.Annabel Farmer. (Image: Newsquest)

Annabel said she liked The Body Shop because of how the staff treated their customers, she added: “They go the extra mile for the customers so it will be terrible. It will be missed.

“I won’t be using The Body Shop online. It’s too artificial, you don’t get that personal service.

“When you order something online, you’re not going to have a skin sample. It will take weeks to come and if it’s problematic you have to send it back.”

Michele Emerick and Shirley Townsend, from Salisbury, said they used the shop “fairly regularly”.

Michele said: “It makes me sad; I think it will be a loss for Salisbury. There’s not anywhere else like it. TK Maxx sometimes sell the odd Body Shop product but it’s nothing like going to the shop itself.”

Salisbury Journal: Shirley Townsend and Michele Emerick.Shirley Townsend and Michele Emerick. (Image: Newsquest)