A MUCH-LOVED arts and crafts retailer in Oxfordshire announced sudden plans of imminent closure. 

Following 45 years of service to residents in Wantage the family run business Blanshards is set to shut its doors in the upcoming months.

Owners of the store on Wallingford street famous for fabrics, knitting supplies, haberdashery and creative crafts announced the plans in a Facebook post this morning. 

It said: "Sadly, I have made the decision not to take on a new lease when our current one expires in a few months' time.

"I am sorry to say then that the shop will be closing as soon as we have sold the majority of the current stock.

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"Over the past few years as people have changed their shopping habits our turnover has dropped considerably.

"It has become increasingly obvious to me that our businesses model is no longer sustainable in the climate we find ourselves in."

The owners also thanked past and present customers for making Blanshards such a success since it opened in the 1960s.

Tributes from devastated shoppers poured on social media.

One Facebook user Kat Cannings wrote under the announcement: "I am so sad about this, I have loved popping in every now and then.

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"I remember going in with my nans when it was across the road and also with my mum - everyone has always been so nice, especially when I started sewing and needed advice."

Another resident Catherine Bulpitt said: "So sad to hear this.

"I just finished making a dress with material from you - thank you so much for all the advice and help you have given to me and many others."