TRADERS and customers have told of their surprise after a women’s clothing shop in Dorchester closed down.

A closure notice has been placed on the door of Stolen from Susie in Brewery Square after the company – which had a few stores in the south west – went out of business. It is being placed into voluntary liquidation.

The notice states: “The store is now closed, if you have a store credit or gift voucher, please email”

Traders said the shop’s closure came "out of the blue".

A trader, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It was unfortunate for the workers but hopefully some other shop will come in its place.”

Another trader said: “I saw the sign outside just before Christmas. It was definitely out of the blue.”

Shoppers also said they were surprised by closure and called the loss of the shop a great ‘shame.’ Davnet McGinty from Abbotsbury said: “I heard about it this week. I couldn’t believe it, the shops around here seem to be doing well enough stay open. It was a surprise.

“I am quite sad it is gone.”

Jean O Brien said: “It is a shame, they haven’t been there very long.”

A resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “It is a sign of the times, too many shops are closing these days.”

Stolen from Susie was launched in Devon in 2005.

The company operated a number of shops and its Dorchester store opened in 2015.

A notice on the website of business information record site, The Gazette, states that Stolen from Susie is to be wound up voluntarily. It says Mark Reynolds of Valentine & Co has been appointed as liquidator.

Mr Reynolds could not be contacted for comment by the Echo.

Charlotte Spracklen, centre manager at Brewery Square, confirmed the shop will no longer be trading.

She said: “We are sorry to report that Stolen from Susie is no longer trading in Brewery Square and we wish the owners the best of luck with their future endeavours.”

Robert Ackland, director of Brewery Square, said he was notified about the shop’s closure on Saturday, December 23.

He said: “I have an email from our managing agents confirming that they have received correspondence from Valentine & Co (insolvency practitioners) advising that the company (Stolen from Susie) is being placed into voluntary liquidation.”

Mr Ackland called the shop’s closure a "sad loss".

He said: “It must have been awful for the staff before Christmas. We didn’t see it coming.

“They were a good component in our retail line up. We are very sorry they have gone. They sold good products and had a great team of staff.

“We will hopefully get a good shop to replace it as soon as possible.

“It is definitely a sad loss.”