A fancy dress shop in Hornchurch will be disappearing from the high street next month after decades of business. 

Harlequin Fancy Dress in Park Lane is set to close on July 20 after owner Gill Goodchild has claimed her landlords need the property back. 

The shop has been open for more than 30 years, with Gill running it for the past decade. 

Gill said: "I had known for about a year but I've been trying to sell it on as a going concern but no-one really wanted it so I have to go."

A proposed rent increase is unaffordable, she admitted.

Romford Recorder: The store has been run by Gill for a decadeThe store has been run by Gill for a decade (Image: Google Maps)The shopkeeper said it is not just a fancy dress store to her, but instead a workshop where she is able to continue her work as a seamstress. 

The closure will mean she also loses her workshop. 

She told The Recorder: "A lot of these things we don't really want to tell our customers too much because it's upsetting anyway.

"The majority of my customers, they're very loyal and they love this shop here. They're gutted.

"When you've got to a point where you really can't afford to compete anymore you really have to take drastic action.

"I'd love to stay here but it's finding somewhere which is affordable."

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Gill has been running a sale at the store to try and get rid of excess stock ahead of the closure. 

The store has a website too, on which she hopes to continue selling fancy dress from. 

She said: "It's (fancy dress) become a commodity that is so easy to bulk buy from our friends, Amazon. Amazon have kind of taken over. 

"I'll continue as best I can because I have the online site. People can give me a ring and I'll try and operate the service in a slightly different way.

"We managed to do it during Covid as best we could so we'll try now."