A PARTY shop which has been a staple of independent business in Portsmouth for almost a century is set to close.
U Need Us has announced it will shut its doors for good in a 'few weeks time’ – prompting an emotional outpouring on social media.
Boasting scores of fancy dress costumes for partygoers of all ages, the shop, which hugs a unit straddling Arundel Street and Slindon Street, celebrated its 95th anniversary in June.
But with ‘great sadness’ its owners took to Facebook this afternoon to tell customers it will soon cease trading.
The message said: ‘I’m sure everyone is aware of the difficult issues facing retail, particularly in our high streets, and after nearly 96 years it’s time for us to call it a day.
‘The Searle family are very proud to have played a part in the history of our wonderful city and also in the lives of the fantastic people of Portsmouth over such a long period of time.
‘We have so many memories of smiles we’ve generated, the happy times we have played a part in creating and customers who’ve become friends. Sadly things change and nothing lasts forever.’
Hundreds of comments have been left on the post, which has now been shared more than 1,000 times.
Portsmouth hairdresser Tony Wood said: ‘Thanks for putting some magical moments into my childhood.’
Meanwhile Ann Bekker described the closure as ‘another part of Portsmouth’s history going'.
Karen Glassett added: ‘Such sad news! U Need Us is a part of Portsmouth and it definitely will not be the same without you guys there. So sorry it’s closing but wishing you all the best.’
A sale on all stock at the shop will start tomorrow morning.
Its owners said on Facebook: ‘Please keep in touch here as news of clearance deals and offers will be posted here.’