Party shop back with a bang for Halloween
FOUR years since its departure from Northgate Street and the Ultimate Party Shop is back in the city – just in time for a bumper fancy dress season.
The family-run shop has taken on a short-term lease at the vacant unit formerly occupied by Clinton's cards in King's Walk Shopping Centre.
The card shop downsized in June 2012, blaming booming online trade as a factor forcing it to reduce its high street operation.
Ultimate Party Shop manager Sue Clingan, whose sisters Caroline and Jenny run three other branches in Cheltenham and Worcester, said the empty slot was too good an opportunity to pass up.
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Thanks to some tough negotiating, a short-term deal was agreed and the shop began trading on Saturday, just in time for the hectic party season.
Sue said it promises to be an exciting time for all involved.
"We did quite well in Northgate Street but the lease expired. Since then we have been desperate to get back into a prime location like this," she said.
"The footfall is excellent here, you can tell the difference. We have only been away for a few years but it is clear there has been progress.
"Gloucester isn't just about the Quays anymore and it's great to see so many independent traders opening up in the city centre."
With Halloween just days away, it is prime time for the fancy dress outfitters. Scary skeletons, zombie schoolgirls and devil outfits have been flying off the shelves as shoppers prepare for fright night.
David Stevens has married into the family and has been helping with the launch of the Clingans' latest store.
"The open front is helping stop people who walk in to see what we are all about," he said.
"It's early days, but we've had the usual run on fake blood and zombie outfits that you would expect at this time of year.
"It's been good fun dressing up as something different every day to encourage people in."
The shop sells and hires fancy dress ideas online.