Published: 00:00, 20 February 2003
RICEMANS department store in Canterbury closed its doors for the final time at 6pm on Saturday.
As the last few shoppers looking for bargains left the store, the lights were dimmed and a retailing era in the city was brought to an end.
On hand to watch were managing director Hugo Fenwick who locked the doors behind the building's last shoppers.
The final till transaction took place when Kentish Gazette reporter Sian Napier bought perfume from one of the beauty counters and then the till shut for the last time in a store which has been such a big part of Canterbury since the 1960s.
With its closure goes the name Ricemans. When the new store opens on Thursday it will be as Fenwick.
The opening ceremony is due to be performed by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Cllr Mary Jeffries and Margy Fenwick, wife of the store's group chairman Mark Fenwick.
The Ricemans store will be pulled down next month to make way for the next phase of the Whitefriars development. This will lead to the creation of a Boots superstore, a Tesco Metro supermarket, 38 other shops, a 530-space multi storey car park and luxury and low cost apartments.
On Saturday (February 22) television chef Paul Rankin will give a cookery demonstrations in the new Fenwick store.