Ruth Mitchell

Fancy dress market set to go bananas

A children’s storyteller has turned the page on a new chapter of his career by launching a fancy dress business which he aims to expand across the region.

Ken Joyce, alongside his wife and business partner Shirley, has opened Tyneside’s largest single fancy dress store, Bananas, in Whitley Bay, to tap into growing demand in the region from stag and hen parties, student events and seasonal celebrations.

Over the next two years Mr and Mrs Joyce expect to open two additional stores in the North East which will allow the firm to cater for the entire Tyne Tees region.

Mr Joyce said: “Fancy dress is a huge market up here and people come from all over the country to celebrate hen and stag nights, not to mention the demand from the local universities.

“As well as the North East, we hope to market our products to people across the UK who may be planning a party in our region and we also aim to link up with coach firms who could potentially partner us and allow customers to order online, and collect when they get here.

“Everything we have done has involved local businesses and we hope to create new jobs in the future, especially as one of our shops will be a superstore.”

While Mr Joyce hopes to building the Bananas brand in the UK through its website, he also aims to target overseas markets in the longer term, having already received enquiries from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand in the short time since its launch.

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