RST Music shop on Cartergate, Newark, to close doors in another blow to high street
Another independent shop in Newark has announced its closure in a blow to the high street.
RST Music, on Cartergate, will close its doors this year after 18 years in business.
The shop will remain open until at least the end of January and will retain an online presence after that until all stock is sold.
Russell Thomas, owner of RST Music, said: "Our shop has always been supported by online trading and what Newark customers brought into the shop only really paid for a small fraction of it.
"With the pandemic and everything else, we're just not taking enough. Ultimately, we're closing because there hasn't been enough trade."
The news follows a string of several other shop closures in Newark town centre, including Poundstretcher and Carpetright on Newark Northgate Retail Park and The Pud Store in St Mark's Place.
"Retail is changing. The days of independent music shops in small towns are numbered," said Russell.
"When I started the business 18 years ago, there were three music shops in the town and now the last one is going.
"The pandemic has been the final nail in the coffin."
Russell claims that he noticed a dramatic decrease in footfall in his shop when Marks & Spencer closed on Stodman Street in 2019.
"We noticed in terms of footfall in the shop and in terms of trade particularly a huge difference when Marks & Spencer shut," he said.
"Unfortunately, Newark town centre is now looking increasingly deserted."
Customers have taken to Facebook to express their gratitude for RST Music and its staff.
One user said: "Incredible for an independent to have held their own for so long on what is an impossible landscape for UK retail to survive."
Another user said: "So sad to read this. Thank you for all of your help over the years Russell and team."
"Customers are obviously sad to see us go," Russell said. "There are people who see it as just another independent store in Newark that's sadly shutting it's doors and there are others that will genuinely be sad that there's no music shop in town any more."
"I would like to thank customers for all their support over the years."