U Need Us: Challenging times blamed for Portsmouth shop closure 

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DIFFICULT times for businesses on the high street have been blamed for the closure of one of Portsmouth’s oldest shops. 

U Need Us, a party wear and toy shop in Slindon Street, announced yesterday that it is to close after nearly 96 years trading. 

U-need-Us in Arundel Street'Picture: Habibur Rahman

U-need-Us in Arundel Street'Picture: Habibur Rahman

Owner Steve Searle  said: ‘It was founded by my grandfather in 1923. I am very proud to have been a part of it. 

‘Sadly the high street is a difficult place to be with the increasing costs involved and the reduced footfall, as is the case in all of our town centres. It makes it a very hostile environment to try and make a living from and sadly it is no longer viable.’ 

The shop will be holding a sale to clear stock before it closes in a few weeks time.

Steve added: ‘I have no idea what we are going to do when we close the shop. It has been my life for the past 35 years. It is a sad day for all of us - and all of our staff.' 

Brother and sister, Steve Searle and Sandra Haggan who worked at the shop for over 30 years.'Picture: Habibur Rahman

Brother and sister, Steve Searle and Sandra Haggan who worked at the shop for over 30 years.'Picture: Habibur Rahman

The news shocked Portsmouth shoppers and has prompted thousands of messages of support on social media. 

It also follows news last week that Knight & Lee in Southsea, one of the city’s oldest department stores, is to close in July, after more than 130 years in business. 

Charlie Searle putting out the last few puzzles out on display.'Picture: Habibur Rahman

Charlie Searle putting out the last few puzzles out on display.'Picture: Habibur Rahman

U-need-Us in Arundel Street, Portsmouth 'Picture: Habibur Rahman

U-need-Us in Arundel Street, Portsmouth 'Picture: Habibur Rahman