BRIDPORT will see the end of an era next month when Frosts closes its doors with the loss of seven jobs.

Adrian Franklin is selling the lease of the West Street store, that sells everything from newspapers to kitchen equipment, household wares, stationery, watches and toys, to national chain Tofs, The Original Factory Shop which has 180 stores around the country selling discounted homewares, furniture and electrical goods, toys and clothing.

Mr Franklin, 62, said the family had run the business since 1962 when his mother took it on and he'd been at Frosts for 40 years and it was time to retire and leave the stress and pressure behind.

He said: "Business is becoming very difficult and the internet is the issue, we've lost so much business to it.

"And I want to be able to enjoy my retirement while I am able to."

He said it would be a relief to leave the stress behind but regretted that his seven staff members were being made redundant.

He said: "They are all being made redundant unfortunately and they will have to apply for a job with the new people.That's my one regret.

"I am very lucky to have had extremely good staff, some have been here for more than 20 years, a couple since they left school and that is tough."

He said he had not actively been looking for someone to take on the business but after a chance conversation was approached by the chain.

He added: "This particular company has been wanting to come here for some time

"It was an opportunity and they aren't going to come around very often with our size unit which is 8,000 sq ft.

"We just feel it was a chance too good to miss.

"Financially they are going to put an investment in here and make the place really nice which I would have loved to have done but economically we couldn't do it, it is as simple as that.

"These days it is big companies that are surviving, small ones aren't.

"On top of that they have an on line presence which obviously makes a difference."

Although it's been a family business, he said, his own children had looked at the hard work and long hours and decided not to follow in his footsteps.

H said: "My son is in the army, one daughter is veterinary nurse and other one is a chef."

The official handover is on June 24 but with the amount of clearing out to do Mr Franklin said there was no firm date when Frosts would close.

Mr Franklin's brother Vernon, 74, still runs Toymaster in South Street.