Pandemic, online shopping close the lid on Geneva cosmetics shop: 'I cried for about two weeks'

makeup shop
Sam Wolf poses at her soon-to-close Merle Norman shop in Geneva. Photo credit courtesy: Sam Wolf

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — COVID-19 and online shopping have killed a Merle Norman cosmetics shop and salon that’s been in Geneva for 50 years.

Owner Sam Wolf says she understands because she’s heard it from her customers.

“You know, I’m sorry I haven’t been in, but I’ve had no need to wear makeup,” they say to her, she tells WBBM Newsradio.

“They’re not going to the restaurants, they’re not going out to places and party and whatnot. So they’re not putting any makeup on, and I can’t fault anybody for that,” Wolf said.

Wolf started working at the Merle Norman shop 20 years ago. Four years ago, she bought the business because she didn’t want it to close when the previous owner retired.

Now, she says she has no choice.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I cried for about two weeks,” Wolf said.

March 20 is the last day the Geneva Merle Norman will be open.

“These next 20 days — actually 19 days — I am dreading,” she said Tuesday.  “Because I have to say goodbye to people that have literally watched my kids grow up.”

Wolf adds: “Never say never.” In a couple of years, if masks disappear, she and Merle Norman might make a comeback in Geneva, she said.