The much-loved family-run business, which has operated in Reading for nearly nine decades, will cease trading after Christmas, with 26 people set to lose their jobs.
Drews made the announcement on Facebook, stating that the business was no longer viable due to rising costs and the increasing dominance of online traders.
The full statement posted on social media read: “We are sad to tell you that we will be closing the store after Christmas. We have traded in Reading for 87 years but unfortunately the costs of running a "bricks and mortar" retail store in a world now dominated by internet merchants mean that it is no longer a viable business. We are closing with the loss of 26 jobs.”
A closing down sale is currently underway, with 25% off goods across the shop in order to clear stock. The business added that it will continue to deliver its “non-stock 'special order' service as usual”.
The announcement has generated a big reaction online, with more than 400 comments from people expressing their sadness and disappointment at news of the store’s imminent closure, calling it “the best shop in Reading” and praising staff for “going the extra mile to help”. Some conveyed frustration, adding that the “internet can never deliver the kind of knowledge and service” that Drews offered its customers.
One comment said: “What a great loss. A wonderful place with knowledgeable people manning the counters. Until the tax laws are changed this kind of shop will disappear.”
Another added: “You guys will be greatly missed by the tradesmen and people of Reading. Truly a one off shop with excellent staff. Wishing you all the best for the future.”
Drews The Ironmongers was established in the town in 1931 and is run by the Drew family; David and Doreen, and sons Nic and Chris. The independent business offers a range of tools, workwear, ironmongery, security products, fixings and plumbing goods to both trade and retail customers. It also had strong ties with its local community, sponsoring the annual Englefield 10km charity race event.