Hampshire & Isle of Wight

U-Need-Us: End of line for Portsmouth fancy dress shop

U Need Us Image copyright Google
Image caption U Need Us has suffered from the pressure felt by high street retailers

A fancy dress shop which has been trading for almost a century has blamed "difficult issues facing retail" for its decision to close.

U-Need-Us in Portsmouth, run by the Searle family, has been selling fancy dress costumes and joke items for 96 years.

Manager Debbie Haggan said online competition had speeded its decline.

It comes weeks after John Lewis announced it was closing its Lee and Knight store in the city.

More than 1,000 comments were posted on the shop's Facebook page after the closure was announced.

Image copyright Facebook

Ms Haggan, whose grandfather set up the shop, said: "The internet is clearly some of it, but not all - the high street generally is in a very poor state.

"Councils have to do something to make high streets more viable.

"We've been part of lots of happy occasions and we do think our granddad and our dad would be very proud of us being here as long as we have."

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said he was "deeply saddened" by the latest well-known shop closure in the city.

"Since 2016 we have lost 1,637 retail stores in Hampshire alone. We need action on our declining high streets, and we need it fast. I'll continue to press for action on this for Portsmouth's economy and to protect local jobs," he added.

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