Out of the ashes: Clapham fancy dress shop reopens after London riots


The store was looted and set alight in August 2011


By Christine Dorisamy-Pillai

A fancy dress shop in Clapham reopened last Thursday after being put out of business during the London riots.

Party Superstores, on Lavender Hill, was looted and set alight in August 2011, but is now finally back up and running.

Sales assistant Rachel Pellicani worked at the shop for just over a year before the store closed.

“What happened came as a surprise,” she said.

“We expected to be looted because everywhere else was, but not to be set alight. There was no need for it really.”

The shop was completely gutted and apart from the four walls, had to be totally rebuilt. 

While the refurbishment was taking place, the shop was offered a space at the nearby Debenhams, which they have only recently been able to move out of.

“We lost a lot of money when we were at Debenhams because we just didn’t have enough space. Takings were down by about 30 percent,” said managing director Duncan Mundell.

The loss of takings also concerned Mr Mundell in other ways. He is the founder of Heal Kids Foundation, a charity which partly relies on the profits from the business.

“We help children in Burma by building schools and funding operations for sick and deformed children,” he said.

“We were distraught with what happened to the shop because it meant the money to the charity went down.”

The store is currently operating in two separate premises, but hope that by the summertime they will be united into one bigger unit of around 6000 square feet.

Things are already looking up for the store since the reopening.

“We’ve had quite a few customers in already,” said Miss Pellicani.

“When people saw us setting up and saw all the work going on, they would wish us good luck!”

Donations can be made to the Heal Kids Foundation on

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