The Department of Magical Gifts Reopens at New Cambridge Location

Going shopping for magical merchandise is more than just a quick trip for goodies. In some cases, it can be a real experience of its own, like a fun museum, especially if a shop has animatronics to greet the customers. This is no different in one of the United Kingdom’s most renowned university towns, Cambridge, which can boast of some amazing Harry Potter alumni and is the home of the Department of Magical Gifts. The Harry Potter-themed shop has reopened this Wednesday, October 28, and it is bigger and better than ever before.

The shop first opened its doors in 2018 in the Cambridge Tourist Information Centre, which has now closed down completely. While the Department of Magical Gifts has continued to sell its wizarding products online without a hitch, its physical location has had to keep closed since March, when the lockdown began. However, the new location at 17 Rose Crescent is bigger and better, and the animatronic displays are back to oversee the shoppers returning to grab their wands, potions, and other merchandise.

 

A pretty, pale stone buildin has a bay window shop front and broomsticks, and antique candelabra. The label on the window of the magical merch shop says The Department of Magical Gifts.

 

The shop’s owner, Roger Lefever, said the interest in magical gifts has not dwindled over the dark period, despite the challenges:

Basically, we’ve been closed now for eight months. We were in the information center, which closed down, which left us homeless, or perhaps shopless! We do a lot of business online, so the lockdown hasn’t slowed us down, but since we’ve been closed, I’ve had messages every day asking when we are reopening again.

While we have all enjoyed the comfort and safety of online shopping and delivery, Lefever stressed the importance of providing an experience to customers that is only truly possible in person:

The key thing about our shop is that it’s an experience. We have animatronics wizards; it has a really magical feel when you step in. It’s been sad not to see our regular customers, so we are very pleased to be opening our new store, which is bigger and better than before.

Provided that shops can remain open for the foreseeable future, we cannot wait to visit the store and feel at home among the magical items and displays, even if it is for a few minutes. If you are in the area, it may be worth it to check out the surrounding streets since Cambridge looks like it could be Hogwarts, even if the Great Hall of the Harry Potter movies was based on Christ Church College of the rivaling Oxford.

 

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Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.