A LONG-established electrical firm is pulling out of Fordingbridge, blaming the rise of Internet shopping.

Baileys of Fordingbridge will be closing its doors to customers on Christmas Eve after four years of trading in the town.

The firm was started in Verwood 60 years ago, where it will continue to have a presence.

Managing director Steve Yorke said the internet was “killing retail” and that the decision to close the only electrical store in Fordingbridge had been a “difficult one”. The two employees at the store in High Street will relocate to its headquarters in Verwood and join the nine-strong team.

Mr Yorke said: “Baileys of Verwood was established by Fred Bailey about 60 years ago. We opened the Fordingbridge shop about four years ago after purchasing it from Audio Vision.

“When we opened we put in some newer brands and changed our displays with a view to making it a little bit better, but it hasn’t happened.

“It is partly down to the economy – we opened when the recession was starting to bite. But the main problem we have is the internet. It is killing retail.

Mr Yorke said: “The Internet is always cheaper, no matter what business you are in. But in our industry the number of retail outlets that are disappearing is unbelievable.

“At the end of the day we couldn’t justify running the Fordingbridge store any more. We have been thinking about the decision for about a year and it has not been an easy decision to make. It is sad and it is heartfelt but we have to think about the business.”

“Baileys of Verwood is only 15 minutes down the road and we have free parking. We are now going to put all our energies into our anchor store. For almost 60 years we have concentrated on providing good quality products combined with a friendly, knowledgeable service.”