A fancy dress shop on Bedford High Street has confirmed that it will close at the end of November when its lease expires.
Narnia Fancy Dress has been trading in Bedford town centre for 9 years, first on Lime Street and on the High Street since 2015.
Owner Sandra Car confirmed that she will be closing the business, citing the internet as the overriding factor.
“We’ve taken a big hit from Amazon,” said Sandra. “Shoppers think they can get more choice and a better price on line. The truth is, when people do come into the shop – because Amazon has let them down – they’re always pleasantly surprised that we’re not more expensive and at the range of products we sell.”
Ahead of the store closure, there is 50% off all stock, excluding sale items and hire costumes.
“If there are any theatre companies or drama groups who would like to bulk purchase any of our hire costumes, we can offer them a great discount,” said Sandra.
“The high street seems to be particularly suffering from lack of footfall and I feel, like the road itself, has become a thoroughfare of people passing through, simply travelling from a to b,” said Helen Patterson of the Town Centre Champions action group.
“Fancy dress outfits and accessories are often cheaper online, and the ability to resell used fancy dress items on online marketplaces often means is much cheaper to buy and sell-on fancy dress costumes than it is to hire.
“Fancy dress shops closing, I believe, is due to a change in shopping patterns rather than declining high streets.”
It’s still not too late for someone to come forward to take on the shop as it is, and keep it trading.