TUI is set to close nearly a third of its high street stores in an attempt to cut costs and shift the focus to online sales.

The UK's biggest tour operator said the "difficult" decision to shut 166 shops is due the coronavirus pandemic and changes in customer behaviour.

The holiday company has a branch at the Rowland Hill Centre in Kidderminster, although it is not yet known which stores will close.

It plans to move 70 percent of the 900 affected jobs to a new "home-working sales and service team."

TUI also aims to relocate staff to vacancies in the remaining 350 retail stores.

The firm announced in May that it planned to cut around 8,000 jobs globally as it seeks to reduce overhead costs by 30 percent.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI, 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 percent of all 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 home-workers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value."