Bedford fancy dress shop will close next month

Narnia Fancy Dress on Bedford's High Street will be closing up shop at the beginning of December.

By Holly Patel
Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 5:01 pm

Shop owner Sandra Carr is closing the fancy dress shop, which has been in Bedford for nine years, because of lack of trading and no adequate parking in the town.

She moved from Lime Street in Bedford to the High Street three years ago.

Sandra said: "I have been here nine years now, I moved to the High Street, which I thought would be better for business but it has actually gradually got worse.

Narnia Fancy Dress

"The main reasons for that is online shopping, people get things cheaper online and they haven't got to leave their homes.

"Another reason is the parking, even though they have two hours of free parking, there are just not enough spaces.

"People drive round looking for a space and because it is a ring road they have to go all the way round again and in the end they give up.

"Another problem is that there are just not that many shops on the high street anymore so the footfall isn't what it used to be.

"I have had a lot of regular customers over the years who have kept coming back even when we moved but in general it has been more of a last minute shop where people pop in if there costumes haven't turned up from buying online.

"We are having a big sale at the moment and everything must go.

"I think we will be closing at the beginning of December, it will be sad to go and I will miss the customers who I have met over the years.

"It has been nice to see some of the children go from pushchairs to coming in and choosing their own costumes."

Sandra will be moving to Spain and is planning to move away from retail onto a new career path.

She said: "I have been in retail for a lot of years and I want a change, I might do some teaching in Spain, I used to teach ballet."

A Bedford Borough Council Spokesperson said, 'We have four outstanding multi storey car parks in Bedford and several surface car parks all offering considerable capacity and prices have been frozen again for the third year running.

"We provide two hours free parking every weekday at Queen Street Multi Storey Car Park and two-hours free parking on all council owned centre car parks on Saturdays, all day on Sunday and free every day after 6pm in all but one.

"Bedford also provides free parking for all people displaying their blue badge. We have fully refurbished our car parks with new parking machines, new lifts, lighting and toilets and all of our car parks have all achieved the Park Safe accreditation as safe and accessible places to park."