A "failing" Sidcup salon will open its doors to the British public tonight, as straight-talking Mary Portas criticises an "over-controlling boss and under-performing staff".

The Secret Shopper TV show will expose tensions between staff and owner Shobie Lee.


She told News Shopper that six key people have left the team since filming.

News Shopper:

Some of the original staff members. Picture: Channel 4

Mrs Lee now employs 17 people at Shobie & Co in Nisbett Walk and, despite being labelled an "ogre" on the show, will run the business without a manager for the next two years.

The 56-year-old said: "It's not what I wanted. I would have rather they had stayed and we had turned the business around together.

"I wanted us to go back to the same 5* salon we had always been, and not the 3* salon we had become.

"I didn't want to undermine anyone, but maybe it was a bit late in the day to fix it.

News Shopper:

"It's a shame. I did lose customers but I am seeing a lot of them returning. We have got a lovely team."

The grandma-of-four was especially unhappy about swearing amongst staff, which was filmed on camera.

Mrs Lee added: "No publicity is bad publicity, but it's not something I wanted.

"I am going to be exposed as a failing business, and in fact we are not. I have a successful business."

News Shopper:

Shobie and the Queen of Shops pretend to fight it out

However, she is grateful for Mary’s help, adding: "What she had done for us is fantastic.

"Now our salon is making more money, I am happy."

Mary Portas Secret Shopper is on Channel 4 at 8pm tonight.