Sad note for city as mu­sic store to close

South Wales Evening Post - - NEWS - CHRISTIE BAN­NON @christieban­non_ • 01792 545522 christie.ban­[email protected]­di­awales.co.uk

A WELL-KNOWN shop in Swansea is set to close af­ter serv­ing the city cen­tre for over 30 years.

Cranes mu­sic shop, based in the St David’s Shop­ping Cen­tre, has been sell­ing a range of mu­si­cal in­stru­ments since 1987 but it will soon be clos­ing its doors for good.

It means the firm, which was es­tab­lished in Cardiff in 1851, will cease trading.

Lee Jones, the man­ager of the Swansea store, also worked at the Cardiff branch which closed a few years ago, called it “the end of an era”.

He said: “It’s hard to put your fin­ger on what ex­actly it is but re­tail is down all over and in­stru­ments are avail­able on­line so it starts to go into price wars.

“We’ve al­ways had the shadow of the build­ing be­ing torn down [as part of re­gen­er­a­tion plans] and there’s been less and less foot­fall so it’s hard to stock the gear that peo­ple ask for so it slowly starts to slow down.

“It’s been dif­fer­ent with just Swansea left as the one in Cardiff closed a cou­ple of years ago. There’s not as much foot­fall as Cardiff so it’s been a strug­gle. It’s the end of an era for Cranes.”

A date has not yet been set for its clo­sure but hun­dreds of peo­ple have al­ready shared com­ments on the store’s Face­book page, with many call­ing the clo­sure “very sad”.

“Ob­vi­ously the staff are upset as they’ve put their heart and soul into it but it just got harder and harder,” Mr Jones added.

“Peo­ple seem shocked that we’re clos­ing. It’s had quite a big re­sponse.

“For our reg­u­lar, loyal cus­tomers it’s not just a shop, it’s a so­cial thing as peo­ple like to come in here and ab­sorb the at­mos­phere.

“We’ve had re­ally loyal cus­tomers over the years but the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are buy­ing on­line and we can’t compete.

“We’ve got a huge tu­ition school here too so we’re go­ing to try and keep that go­ing and find a new premises.

“It’s a real shame as there are no other busi­nesses like us in Swansea.”

A Swansea Coun­cil spokesman said: “No­body likes to see a city cen­tre busi­ness close.

“We are happy to of­fer a range of ad­vice and guid­ance to busi­nesses wish­ing to trade and grow in Swansea.

“On­line shop­ping has made the cli­mate more chal­leng­ing for re­tail­ers ev­ery­where, in­clud­ing Swansea.

“It’s one of the rea­sons why the coun­cil, to­gether with its part­ners in the Welsh Gov­ern­ment and Bid (Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict), is pulling out all the stops to trans­form the city cen­tre, en­cour­age in­creased foot­fall and cre­ate new jobs.

“Our re­gen­er­a­tion plans are on track. The mul­ti­mil­lion pound Kingsway re­vamp is due to be com­plete next year and work is pro­gress­ing on our land­mark dig­i­tal in­door arena com­plex.”

They added: “Thou­sands of Swansea homes and busi­nesses are to ben­e­fit from a multi-mil­lion pound in­vest­ment in world-lead­ing full fi­bre broad­band, a tech­nol­ogy pro­vid­ing re­li­a­bil­ity and con­nec­tiv­ity for decades to come.

“We are cre­at­ing a bril­liant des­ti­na­tion for visitors and res­i­dents alike that will ben­e­fit ex­ist­ing traders and new ones for years to come.”

Pic­tures: Robert Me­len

Man­ager Lee Jones with Dan Mor­ris and Chris Capel at Cranes Mu­sic in Swansea.

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