Body Shop decides not to renew Sovereign Shopping Centre lease

The Body Shop will close in the Sovereign Shopping Centre. Picture: Henry Woodsford

The Body Shop will close in the Sovereign Shopping Centre. Picture: Henry Woodsford - Credit: Archant

A cosmetics company has closed its branch in another blow for Weston’s high street.

The Body Shop closed its Sovereign Shopping Centre unit on February 22.

Clothing retailer Bonmarché, located two units away from the Body Shop, is due to close soon.

The nearest Body Shop is in Cribbs Causeway.

MORE: Nationwide chain to close its Weston High Street unit.

A Body Shop spokesman said: "We regularly review our store portfolio performance and have taken the decision not to renew the lease of The Body Shop in Weston and have therefore closed this store.

"We ceased trading on February 22 and have been in consultation over the past few weeks with the five members of the store team to discuss job opportunities elsewhere within the business.

"Unfortunately, we have not been able to redeploy everybody at this moment in time.

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"Our valued customers can still purchase their favourite products by shopping online and through the The Body Shop At Home."

North Somerset Council has begun to introduce a different approach to tackle the shifting retail market, using the shopping centre as a place to encourage independent business, galleries, community activities, pop-up-shops and events.

A meanwhile use programme, which will bring empty units around the town centre back into use, is being developed, as well as a new town vision.

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member for business, economy and employment, said: "We are disappointed the Body Shop has chosen not to renew its lease.

"We believe this decision is similar to its other recent store closures elsewhere in the country.

"High streets are changing, with a different demand from the public.

"What's exciting is the increase of independent traders in the town centre, with the recent opening of Weston Meat Shack, restaurants such as the Fork and Ale, Stable Café and the Ginger Pig Kitchen, along with the Weston Collective.

"I'm confident Weston town centre can thrive, despite challenging times, and offer something special to residents and visitors."

The Mercury approached the Sovereign Centre for a comment, but it did not respond.