Costume and fancy dress hire store Chuckles Fancy Dress Hire, based in Felixstowe, UK, is closing down after more than 25 years in business.
Owner Sarah Fitch announced on the shop’s Facebook page that she will be opening the doors to the expansive costume collection for the final time in August.
“It is time to accept that the High Street is no longer what it used to be,” she said in the post. “For Chuckles’ last few weeks on Earth I’ll be open as usual but selling, instead of hiring. Come in and have a look, make an offer.”
Sarah bought the business four years ago and the changing retail market has led to a lack of footfall, with sales naturally taking a hit.
“I think the rise of internet shopping has just been phenomenal the last two years and we have seen a knock-on effect of that,” said Sarah. “Although our prices are cheaper than buying we just can’t compete – people want to shop in the middle of the night and they want it delivered the next day.”
The shop marketed itself as a ‘massive dressing-up box’ and the news has resulted in support from customers, lamenting how much they will miss the shop.
“Thanks to my lovely loyal customers that I have dressed, drunk tea with and laughed with over the years,” Sarah continued. “Over to you Amazon – good luck with the tea making!”
Sarah will be continuing to hire out the 40s and military costumes from home via her website revivalwardrobe.com as well as buying and selling vintage clothing.