Dress shop is bucking trend

NBENBE111112a5, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Dail a flower, King street
NBENBE111112a5, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Dail a flower, King street

AS THREE businesses in Belper close their doors, one new firm is proving it’s possible to buck the recession trend.

Rebecca Harrison, who opened The Little Dress Agency last month, believes her shop-with-a-twist adds even more to what is already a thriving town.

NBENBE111112a4, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Scrumptious, King street

NBENBE111112a4, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Scrumptious, King street

The 33-year-old said things are going well at her ‘Aladdin’s Cave’-style business near the top of King Street in Belper.

It is in contrast to sandwich shop Scrumptious Too, florist’s shop Dial A Flower, both of King Street, and butcher’s shop Walt Mason’s, of Sandbed Lane, all of which have recently closed down. One of the people who ran the florists has retired, while the other is working from a market stall in Alfreton.

But, while they have gone, alongside high-profile casualties Focus and Haldanes, Rebecca is hoping to cement The Little Dress Agency in the town. Rebecca, who was born in Belper, said: “People bring in items from their own wardrobes and I sell them for them.

“Then they get a cut and I get a cut. Basically I can sell your clothes for you. I am a service for other people to make money. It helps other people and it helps me.”

NBENBE111112a3, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Walt Mason, Sandbed lane.

NBENBE111112a3, Businesses closed or closing in Belper. Walt Mason, Sandbed lane.

Rebecca gives 60 per cent of proceeds to the customer if their item sells for more than £60, or it is 50/50 if it goes for less. If five of the customer’s items are sold at once, they get 55 per cent of the profit.

The shop sells things such as dresses, shoes, boots and bags. Some of the items are unused by the people who bring them in, others are good quality second-hand stuff.

“I have got a good range of designer and high street stuff for sale and generally my stuff is not expensive,” said Rebecca.

“It is going really well. I have had a really good response. People are enjoying having a new shopping experience.

Rebecca Harrison outside The Little Dress Agency in Belper.

Rebecca Harrison outside The Little Dress Agency in Belper.

“I think there is room for more clothes shops in Belper.

Rebecca’s shop will soon have a new neighbour. Two doors down, a sign in a vacant unit’s window says Stately Brides is opening a shop there on February 4 next year.