A 131-YEAR-old Worcester porcelain merchant has put its premises up for sale.

The proud name of G R Pratley and Sons is as closely linked with the city as Royal Worcester Porcelain.

Its store has been at 16 The Shambles – one of the oldest shopping precincts in the city – since 1880.

Now its 5,392 sq ft freehold premises have been listed for sale with agents Halls with an asking price of £1 million.

The owners said the building was not cost-effective given the high street’s economic woes, but stressed the business was continuing to trade and is open as usual.

Business partner Michael Sedgley said: “We’re testing the market. The reason for the sale is that business rates are too high and the footfall has dropped away.”

The emporium is an Aladdin’s cave of glass, china, rugs and specialist furnishings and belongs to one of the city’s oldest surviving trading families. It has a reputation for piling stock high at discount prices.