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The storefront of Jerusalem Costumes in Putney

Halloween shops face ghastly death if locals don’t dress up

South west London party businesses are calling on families to dress up this Halloween to save the shops.

London’s elevation to Tier 2 lockdown restrictions means families will not be able to mix come Saturday’s holiday.

With no reason to dress up, the impact on local seasonal stores such as Putney’s Jerusalem Costumes is drastic.

Owner Sam Salam says: “We are really sinking.

“The impact on shops like us, and a lot of retailers, has killed everything.  

“We’re blocked from every site; no pubs, no clubs… no trick-or-treat, no fireworks, no Christmas.”

It’s a similar story for Fulham’s Party Circus and owner Janice Sheridan. 

Sheridan said: “This year is going to be a very difficult Halloween for party shops.

“It’s the time of year when we make up sales for the rest of the year.

“The Covid-19 restrictions are on top of online sales and supermarkets taking a large slice of the cake.”

Online sales have risen 3.9% across the country this year despite Covid-19, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Local high street stores, such as those in south west London are facing a fight for survival.

Salam, also a former nurse, has called on local families to dress-up this Halloween for business and happiness. 

He said: “I used to be a nurse and I know depression is a killer more than anything else in the world. 

“A lot of people are depressed without a smile on their faces, there’s no happiness. 

“We feel sorry for the kids during the dark winter, the kids want to have fun. 

“Children are coming to the shop and they want to buy things but the parents aren’t wanting to spend if there’s nowhere to go.” 

Sheridan also echoed Salam’s thoughts, pointing to outdoor events with social distancing as a possibility for families. 

TRICK OR TREAT: Children will struggle to re-create traditional activities this year

Ellie Stevens, 30, is a local mother of four children aged between three and 10 and will be celebrating Halloween this year with a trip to Box Hill in Dorking.

Stevens is one parent who doesn’t expect to spend too much this year amidst restrictions, as well as staying eco-conscious.

However, making the most of Halloween in the circumstances is still a must. 

She said: “I feel it’s important to maintain a type of normality and fun for the children while we still can, who knows what laws will be imposed next.”

Featured Image: Sam Salam

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