A BUSINESS which has been running for nearly 90 years is being forced to close due to the surge in internet retailing.

Drews The Ironmongers on Caversham Road is set to cease trading after Christmas, with 26 people to be made redundant as a result.

Chris Drew, a member of the family-run business said the decision was made with 'great regret' after years of loss making.

He said: "After an extensive review of possible options for the company, the directors have proposed closing the business and disposing of the site for development.

"Drews has been in business in Reading for 87 years and has gained a first-class reputation for quality and service.

"We are working with our suppliers to ensure that we can continue to supply special orders as we always have done."

A stock clearance sale has already started, with 25 per cent off goods across the store.