A REDUCTION in footfall and rising rents could force a family-run party shop in Oxford to close.

Celebrations in Turl Street, which sells party costumes, fancy dress and toys was opened in 1992 by Rod and Barbara Denton.

It has been popular with residents, and students celebrating end-of-year exams.

But now Clare Denton, who runs the shop, said it could be forced to close in the near future as the business is not making enough money.

Mother-of-two Ms Denton, 44, said a number of factors could force staff to shut up shop.

The store director added: “Last year was a particularly bad year and if it carries on like this I will struggle to pay the rent.

“In 2017 the Westgate Centre opened and that meant shops moving out of Cornmarket Street into the new centre.

“I’m pretty sure that has had an effect on footfall in Cornmarket and the surrounding city centre streets.

“At the same time Brexit has made shoppers more choosy about what they spend their disposable income on.

“Rents are also high in this part of the city centre. We can’t stop them going up.”

Ms Denton said she had appealed to landlords Lincoln College to reduce the rent but had been unsuccessful.

She added: “In a way I can understand it from the college’s point of view because it is renting the shop as a business to make money.

“Last year was the worst for us by a long chalk.

“I really want to turn this around but I need support from our loyal customers.

“It’s a family business and I love running it, but at the moment I am very worried that we will be forced to close.

“Turl Street has some lovely independent shops but I don’t think it is getting enough footfall.”

The spring is traditionally a busy time for the shop as Oxford University students snap up costumes and party paraphernalia to celebrate their end-of-year exams.