Serenity Giftware in Clara

Serenity Giftware plans to open online shop

Much-loved Clara giftware shop, Serenity Giftware, is to continue trading online after the official closure of their shop on River Street in the town on Friday, May 24 next.

In a message to customers, the owners of the business which has been operating for the past 16 years, said their new website is "under construction" at the moment and will contain the best shop favourites and some new product lines.

While the River Street premises will cease trading on May 24, the business will "continue to trade online" according to the message, in which Ger, Lisa and Louise Handy thanked customers for their "continued support over the past 16 years" and expressed the hope that they would continue to support the business when it moves online.

They said the decision to close their business was "not taken easily" and reiterated that all vouchers and gift cards can be redeemed in the shop until May 24 next and will continue to be redeemable online thereafter.

There was genuine shock and sadness when the owners of Serenity Giftware announced the closure of their popular business in a post on their Facebook page on March 19 last.

The owners, Ger and Lisa Handy, stated that they have been experiencing difficult trading conditions due to rising costs and falling margins. The post also stated that a shock diagnosis of illness for Ger Handy in recent months also had “a bearing” on the decision to close.

The proprietors, and their long-time employee, Louise Handy, extended their “heartfelt thanks” to all their customers and the local community in Clara for their “kindness and support."

The social media post on Facebook prompted a huge outpouring of support and goodwill for the long-standing business, with hundreds of messages posted online. Many messages spoke of how much the local business meant to them, and how much its presence will be missed in Clara.

As well as being known throughout Offaly and further afield for its huge range of unique gift items, Serenity Giftware is also known for its colourful and creative window displays.

The owners have also been generous contributors to local charity causes over their years of trading and also provided a delivery service to customers.

The announcement of the decision to close Serenity Giftware in March came hot on the heels of the closure of a second business on River Street in Clara, with the closure of popular local coffee shop, Kafe U, in January of this year.