Eastbourne make-up shop attacked over non-vegan products

VLA Cosmetics moved to the Enterprise Centre this year
VLA Cosmetics moved to the Enterprise Centre this year

Police were called yesterday (Thursday, July 27) after staff at a make-up store in Eastbourne were threatened by aggressive visitors to the premises.

Two employees at VLA Cosmetics in the Enterprise Centre said they were abused by customers protesting about the sale of non-vegan products.

Adam and his partner Victoria who owns the store

Adam and his partner Victoria who owns the store

Store manager Adam Smith, who was in the shop on Thursday afternoon with a make-up artist, said, “The man just got very aggressive and abusive. I felt overwhelmingly intimidated.”

Mr Smith, who has worked at the store since it opened last April, said a man and a woman entered the shop complaining about a sign promoting a vegan make-up brand which they said was misleading.

The man became aggressive, swearing and making threats, according to Mr Smith, who repeatedly asked the pair to leave until they did.

Mr Smith said he decided to photograph the pair, who were still in the shopping centre, but when he did so a third man who had joined them became angry and physically pushed him away.

The 29-year-old said he tried to remain calm, left the scene and called the police.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said a call was made at 2.08pm to report verbal abuse, but officers were not asked to attend the incident.

Mr Smith’s partner Victoria Merrel, who owns VLA Cosmetics, said, “These people came in with the intention of instilling fear and panic.

“We have never promoted ourselves as a vegan shop, though we have been working extremely hard to bring vegan ranges in.”