A HANDMADE gift shop in Reindeer Court has announced it is closing.

Iapetus Gallery has now shut despite being featured in an article last month whereby independents said they were cautiously optimistic for their future in the high street.

The manager said at the time: "I have been rushed off my feet so that must be a sign we have been busy."

However, a statement was published online announcing the store's closure.

The statement read: "We are announcing the closure of our Worcester gallery. We will be relocating the shop back to our original gallery in Great Malvern at the end of January.

"This has been a tough decision, but we believe we are making it for the right reasons. The lease on our premises in Reindeer Court comes to an end soon, so it's a natural point to re-appraise the business.

"In a difficult retail climate the strength and sustainability of our business is the most important thing. So we have decided not to renew the lease. Instead we will put our energy and resources into creating a bright future for our original Great Malvern home.

"Whilst closing the Worcester gallery is a sad decision, it is also the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Iapetus. At Iapetus we always aim to go above and beyond, making shopping with us a great experience. That has proved more difficult with two shops, and we miss it!

"2020 will see us putting all our energy behind our Malvern store, bringing back more of what makes us special. We'll work to keep all the handmade things you want more reliably in stock. With everyone in one location we'll ensure all the team are knowledgeable and able to deliver the best customer service to you. Excitingly we will be relaunching iapetus.co.uk in a more mobile friendly format. We will also be able to spend more time keeping you up-to-date across your favourite social media channels. The team are looking forward to surprising you with more going on in store.

"Further good news is we will not be losing any of our wonderful team. Our seasonal staff will be leaving us at the end of their contracts, but our regular team will continue with us in Malvern. We won’t be losing any of our suppliers or choice of gifts either... in fact you should start to see more comprehensives ranges all in one place very soon.

"We know this decision will upset many of you, especially if you aren't able to visit us in Malvern. We are truly are sorry for that. We've loved our time in Worcester, meeting wonderful new customers and bringing our handmade goodies to you. We look forward to welcoming you to our bigger gallery in Malvern."