‘Town cen­tre de­cline threat­en­ing mu­sic shop’s fu­ture’

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

AN in­de­pen­dent mu­sic shop fre­quented by pop roy­alty is fac­ing clo­sure with its owner blam­ing the ‘demise of the town cen­tre’.

For three decades Mar­gin Mu­sic, on Mar­ket Place, Mac­cles­field, has been graced by a mu­sic leg­ends in­clud­ing Joy Divi­sion and New Or­der’s Peter Hook and Bernard Sum­ner, Slade’s Noddy Holder and Ge­orge Borowski.

Doves’ front­man Jimi Good­win, rock­ers The Vir­gin­marys and Jake Evans are also reg­u­lars at the cher­ished in­de­pen­dent.

But as the shop cel­e­brates its 30th birth­day, its owner Mary Kirk­patrick fears ris­ing costs and fall­ing foot­fall has cre­ated a ‘un­sus­tain­able’ sit­u­a­tion.

The 63-year-old said: “Ob­vi­ously the in­ter­net has made things very dif­fi­cult for many high-street shops, and this com­bined with the de­cline of Mac­cles­field town cen­tre has se­ri­ously re­duced foot­fall.

“Daily it seems shops be­come empty and al­most the only thing that can af­ford to re­place them is the char­ity shops which now abound.

“Sadly this does not make an at­trac­tive en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple to visit and the mem­ory of a bustling mar­ket town is long gone ex­cept for the last Sun­day of the month.

“We are fight­ing hard to sur­vive but ev­ery year sales go down and over­heads up, even­tu­ally that is un­sus­tain­able.”

When Mary opened the shop in 1986 she sold vinyl records and tapes just be­fore the emer­gence of CDs.

With the help of her late hus­band John, the busi­ness ex­panded rapidly to sell in­stru­ments and hire PA and light­ing equip­ment. In 1997 Mar­gin closed its record depart­ment and fo­cussed on in­stru­ments.

Mary es­ti­mates that the shop has sold more than 7,500 gui­tars and al­most 2,000 key­boards.

She said: “I like to think that al­most ev­ery mu­si­cal home in Mac­cles­field has an in­stru­ment or piece of equip­ment bought from Mar­gins. But as a mu­sic teacher I find it very sad that a town the size of Mac­cles­field may end up with­out a mu­sic shop where once there were three. When I opened a tiny record shop lit­tle did I think that 30 years on we would still be trad­ing.

“Things have be­come in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult more re­cently how­ever, and un­for­tu­nately a 31st birth­day does not look very likely at this point.

“It is re­ally im­por­tant that peo­ple in Mac­cles­field sup­port their in­de­pen­dent shops. Once they’re gone it’s too late.”

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Owner Mary Kirk­patrick and shop man­ager Si­mon at Mar­gin Mu­sic, which has been on Mar­ket Place, Mac­cles­field, for 30 years

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