Patisserie Valerie has revealed why it has closed the Winchester branch just months after it was refurbished.

As previously reported, the cake shop on High Street closed its doors for good on New Year's Day.

A sign in the window said: “This store will be closing as of Monday, January 1, 2024. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The closure is due to the business going through a restructuring period, a Patisserie Valerie spokesperson told the Chronicle.

Hampshire Chronicle: The sign in the windowThe sign in the window (Image: Chris Atkinson)

READ MORE: Scaffolding goes up on historic wall for essential repair works

They said: “There are many factors that impacted our decision to close stores.  The hygiene rating in Winchester wasn't a factor.  Most relate to the long-term viability of the store to make a profitable return and in the case of Winchester this wasn't deemed possible, even after the refurbishment.

"The retail food landscape is dynamic and ever-changing.  Our brand, product and service continue to thrive both on the high street and online.  In order to ensure that this remains so in the future, we have made the decision to undertake this restructure now, to put the focus and resources of the business where we see the potential for continued, profitable growth. 

“We have created strong templates for growth in our refurbished patisseries and the opening of our flagship store in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, in 2023.

"Alongside this, a large and growing customer base enjoy our handmade patisserie, celebration cakes and afternoon tea at home through our online platform and the curated range available in our retail partner, Sainsbury's.  All of this is made possible by continued investment in our original bakery in Birmingham, which remains the cornerstone of our multi-channel handmade patisserie offer.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The closure of Patisserie Valerie Winchester comes six months after the branch was closed for renovations, which were completed in July last year. The restaurant had also previously received a one-out-of-five food hygiene rating following an inspection in November.

The Food Hygiene Agency said that the restaurants' hygienic food handling required improvement, including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

However, the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building, including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control to enable good food hygiene, was rated as being “generally satisfactory”.

SEE ALSO: New photos show shocking state of leisure centre nearly three years after closure

Winchester BID has said that, while the loss of the business is disappointing, it believes that the unit will not stay empty for long.

A BID spokesperson said: “It’s always disappointing to lose a business from the city centre but hopefully the unit won’t be empty for too long.

“We are aware that a lot of businesses are interested in moving to the city, including some existing city businesses that are looking to expand into a larger space. This is an ideal location at the gateway to the High Street area with both strong visibility and footfall.”

For many years the building was used by the Blue Dolphin fish and chip business.