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Fashion gurus bowing out after half a century in business

PUBLISHED: 15:01 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 25 July 2019

Business partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Business partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

At one time they ran four ladies' clothing shops in Norfolk, but a final sale is starting at the last one remaining, ahead of closure next month.

Business partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodBusiness partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux have worked together for 50 years and have run Annette Collins Ladies' Fashions in Wroxham since 1990.

But they are both retiring and a final sale starts on Friday, July 26 with the shop closure set for August 31.

Mrs Devereux, 76, a grandmother-of-two who lives in Reepham, said she had "mixed feelings" about the closure.

She said: "We never thought of retiring before, but our ages have caught up with us. Business is still good. We get customers from King's Lynn, Ipswich and Newmarket.

Business partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodBusiness partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"We have been surprised by how many lovely cards and comments we've received, and the phone just keeps ringing with people, wishing us well.

"We've had a lot of our customers for 40 years, so we have clothed them through their careers, their pregnancies and now in retirement. You become part of their lives."

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She said that, while the exterior of the building, which used to be an old boatyard, had not changed much over the years, fashions had.

Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham is set to close its doors after many years of business in the town. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAnnette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham is set to close its doors after many years of business in the town. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"Clothes have got far more casual over the years. We have always stuck with our labels and been loyal to Betty Barclay and Robell trousers."

Mrs Collins, 82, who lives in Thorpe St Andrew and is a former fashion model, said: "It's quite sad and we will miss our lovely customers. We would not be giving up if we were 60 or 70. It's been harder going to London for fashion shows and I broke my hip. It's been a very nice business to be in.

"We would have liked to pass the business on to a like-minded person, maybe someone in their 40s, but it has been marketed without success."

The couple met in Horning, where they both lived, about 50 years ago. They ran the Annette Collins shop in Hellesdon for about 21 years and also had shops in Gorleston and Hingham. They rent the Church Road, Wroxham building from Broads Tours.

Business partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodBusiness partners Annette Collins and Jenni Devereux at Annette Collins Ladies Fashions in Wroxham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

If you are interested in renting the unit, visit www.broadstours.co.uk

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