Holiday firm TUI is to shut 166 high street stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The holiday firm has a branch in Newport on the Isle of Wight and used to have a second shopfront in Ryde.

It has not confirmed if the Island's branch will be affected and says a consultation has begun.

TUI is blaming changes in customer behaviour and says it plans to move 70 per cent of the 900 affected jobs to a new “homeworking sales and service team”.

It also aims to relocate staff to vacancies in its remaining 350 retail stores.

Following the announcement, Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Ireland, said: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.

“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.

“Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70 per cent of all Tui UK bookings taking place online.

“We believe Covid-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.

“We have world-class travel advisers at TUI, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”