Published: 10:00, 03 March 2017
Mothercare staff who are like a “family” will say a sad final farewell this Sunday when the town centre store closes.
The company confirmed late last year it would be shutting the County Square shop after more than 40 years in Ashford.
Donna Emery, who has been store manager at the Mothercare and Early Learning Centre for eight years, said it is the end of an era.
She said: "As a team we are very sad to be losing our store, we are a close team and work as a little family."
Mrs Emery, who has been with the company for 16 years, said all the current Ashford employees are losing their jobs.
She added: "I have a team of eight customer service advisers and a part-time cleaner, and due to nearby stores being too far to travel to for a four-hour shift, my team are all being made redundant.
"Sadly, there are no manager vacancies in the area for me to move to so I also am being made redundant.
"We close the doors for the last time on Sunday at 4pm where all my team will be there, including girls that have left over the past year or so.
"We have all made some wonderful friends over the years – team and customers – and I would like to personally thank them all for their support."
Mothercare embarked on a plan to close a quarter of its 170 shops in 2014, and officials said the Ashford branch was part of its transformation plans.
Mark Newton-Jones, Mothercare chief executive, said the focus of the business was now geared towards out-of-town retail stores and online services rather than town centre locations.
A spokesman for the company said customers would be emailed about the changes and given details of the nearest store – which is in Canterbury, 14 miles away.
She said: "We greatly value all our customers in the local area and would like to thank them for their continued loyalty.
"While we regret the closure, it is part of a larger transformation plan for our business."
It is understood that JD Sports are set to take over the Mothercare unit.
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