A SHAFTESBURY shop which offered homeware, gifts and more has closed after around ten years.

Nutmeg Home Styles in High Street was open for the last time on Saturday, closing as a result of the coronavirus impact and issues with rent.

Since the shop reopened on June 15 with a special sale, owner Beverley Barratt had been unable to work as she already suffers with an immune illness, leaving her house-bound isolating during the pandemic.

In Beverley’s absence Christine Cunningham had been looking after the shop, but she had to strip Nutmeg’s opening hours back.

As well as the owner's quarantine, Christine said another reason for the closure was that the landlord refused to reduce the rent.

She said: “Our opening was fantastic, all the stock was reduced by 50 per cent so that in itself would bring shoppers. We would have wanted to see it continue.

“We have had great, loyal customers over the years who had come in to see us and Hattie the dog. We are incredibly sad to see it go.”

Christine later added: “We did ask the landlord to reduce the rent and he just said no.

“I have just been getting on with the shop, it has been so busy but it has been great. Although after two weeks of being open full-time I had to chop it back.

“Shopping should be an experience - everyone wants to get a sale but customers should not be made to buy something - our customers walked away feeling happy.

“We had a lot of fun in the shop and I will miss the camaraderie.”

When asked if the temporary pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury’s High Street had played a part in the closure of the store, Christine said that she feels this measure should be brought in permanently.

The lack of vehicles was of benefit to Nutmeg as there were no lorries blocking the shop front, with Christine adding: “[Before pedestrianisation] it was difficult for people to get along these narrow streets and difficult for young people with pushchairs.

“I know the pedestrianisation has been controversial and not all shop owners agree with it, but we really need to work together.

“It might not be as good as it could be at the moment as it’s still new, but if it goes forward it would be a great opportunity for this lovely town.”

The Nutmeg team is hoping to launch a pop-up Christmas stall between October and December.

The pedestrianisation of the High Street has been extended until July 26.