AFTER two decades in the business, an independent costume shop is bidding farewell to its customers.
Absolutely Fabulous, in Denmead, has been a household name in fancy dress for years but its owner says the store can no longer compete with supermarkets and internet traders.
Jane-Anne Coulter, 61, started making and selling costumes from her home, Hope Cottage on Hambledon Road, after she decided to leave her job as a therapy radiographer to look after her children.
She said: ‘At the time it was a great way to look after my kids and earn some money but now they’ve all grown up I think it’s time to hang up my costume, so to speak.
‘I was always very creative growing up because we didn’t have a lot of money so I would have to piece together my clothes and make the best out of terrible hand-me downs.’
Jane held a clearance event at her house and sold costumes and accessories at discounted prices that would normally be rented out.
‘I was planning on that to be the official closure of the shop but the costumes will take a little longer to go,’ added Jane.
‘I have actually kept a few that I didn’t want to part with, like a pair of gold glitter glam rock boots, and a couple of the 70s psychedelic outfits.
‘I think I’m quite an old fashioned business because I like getting to know my customers but with big supermarkets and online stores mass producing the same thing I can’t really compete.
‘It’s a shame because you lose the uniqueness of the outfit and end up seeing clones at parties!’