End of an era as ‘iconic’ Carlin Records shop shuts this week
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
ONE of Newry's most iconic shops will close this week after over a half a century in business.
Carlin Records on Hill Street will shut its doors this Saturday - and with it goes another little bit of Newry's trading past.
Carlin Records opened in 1961 and was best known for its folk and country selection, vinyl LPs, unusual radios, the best of local musical talent and for selling concert tickets for Ireland's biggest gigs - and every few weeks workers on Hill Street would be greeted by fans of various bands or artists camped outside the shop from the previous night to be certain of getting their hands on a ticket.
Sadly, the last batch of "campers" outside the shop were fans of Five Seconds of Summer on Thursday night into Friday morning, and little did they know that they were making a little bit of history as the last group to set up camp outside Carlin's.
Owner Darran Turtle, who took over the business from his uncle Noel Griffin in 2005, told the Democrat: "I have been thinking about it for a while. Obviously the music business has changed dramatically over the last few years and we have seen off another of other big music establishments in Newry since my time here, but it has just changed so much that we made a decision that this summer was the right time to go."
While HMV, Woolworths and other independent music retailers closed, Carlin Records held its own throughout the economic downturn, but it too has now fallen to the digital takeover.
While acknowledging that the availability of downloaded music played a part in
Carlin's closing, Darran said it wasn't the sole reason.
“Well that has played a part, but it wasn't just a business decision to close," he said.
“There's a whole host of reasons and yes, downloading has affected us in terms of chart sales and new music releases - there's a whole generation of kids who have no concept of paying for music and that's a difficult thing to come back from - but we've been very lucky and we've been very well supported by a loyal customer base in Newry and I really appreciate that over the last nine years.
“We're obviously very sad to be associated with the closing of the shop, it's an iconic brand and an institution in the town and I'm sure a lot of people will be sad to see it go, but I think people will understand that the music business and retail has changed over the last few years."
The shop officially closes this Saturday and throughout the week there is a closing down sale. So from next week, where will people go to get their concert tickets and latest country releases?
Darran added: "That's still up in the air at the moment. If something comes in last minute or someone comes in with interest, I would certainly listen to what they have to say, but other than that it's out of my hands.
“I would hate to think that there would be nowhere left in Newry, but it's now up to someone else to put their hand up and see if they want to go down that route."
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