Evil clown masks and BFG ears! Behind the scenes of south west London’s biggest fancy dress store

Evil clown masks are expected to sell out frighteningly fast at south west London’s biggest fancy dress store this Hallowe’en.

Staff at Party Superstores’ flagship store in Clapham have spent weeks stocking thousands of ghoulish costumes and accessories in anticipation for their busiest month of trading.

Day of the Dead masks were the shop’s biggest seller in 2015 but this year evil clown masks are expected to sell in large numbers in light of YouTube pranksters making headlines this year.

Although store manager Mirela said she has a strict policy against selling unsuitable items to anyone who looks underage and she has added clown masks to that list.

party-superstores-2WEIRDLY WELCOMING: Staff are ready for their busiest time of the year

The store also takes extra care with testing the quality of materials used in children’s costumes after Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was seriously burnt when her outfit caught alight in 2014.

Mirela said: “We had to test a lot of items and work with our suppliers because so many parents were asking for these things.”

The store’s second-largest event of the year is BookWeek – that this year celebrated Roald Dahl’s 100th anniversary.

Scores of children flocked to the shop looking for Fantastic Mr Fox masks and tails, and BFG ears.

Mirela said: “We look at what events are in the calendar and plan for the year, with Christmas and New Year’s Eve next, and carnivals in February.”

party-superstores-3NOT-SO-SPOOKY STAFF: Senior sales assistant Natalie

Staff have noticed that this year people are celebrating Hallowe’en more than ever and going all out with their decorations.

“Now people are buying big stage props and they are having big parties and getting smoke machines,” said senior sales assistant Natalie Blackburne

“There is a bloody corpse in a bag and realistic gravestones with things that climb out. We get things that amaze me.”

The staff are especially proud of the wall wraps they are selling to transform any room this Hallowe’en.

“I had a party where I covered the walls in my flat with a woods scene setter. I couldn’t believe it, it just totally transformed my tiny flat,” Natalie added.

“You can leave the room and forget about it and come back in and think ‘oh my god, my front room is a dungeon,’ it’s amazing.”

party-superstoresBACK AND BIGGER THAN EVER: Party Superstores post-London riots

The Clapham store, which originally only occupied its lower retail unit until it was burned down during the 2011 London riots, expanded into the larger upper unit and basement levels as business continued to increase to become one of London’s largest retailers of fancy dress costumes and accessories.

Party Superstores is owned by its managing director Duncan Mundell who donates a portion of the shop’s proceeds to Heal Kids Foundation – a charity he founded, supporting orphaned, abandoned and disabled children in the most deprived regions of south east Asia.

For information on Heal Kids Foundation, visit:

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