The imminent closure of one of Donegal Town’s longest established businesses has prompted the vice chairman of the Donegal Community Chamber to say that many retailers in the town and county are not even taking a wage out of their business at the moment.
Ernan McGettigan made the comment following the news that Quinlan’s Newsagents on the Diamond will close its doors this evening (Thursday), a business which has operated in its present format for up on 90 years.
The Quinlan family have operated the business for 48 years having purchased the then well known “Pansy Hendersons” which also operated as a news agents and fancy goods shop for nearly 40 years.
The present owner of the business, Rory Quinlan said that it was one of the most difficult decisions he had to make in his life but said trading conditions at the moment were extremely difficult with ever rising costs, smaller margins and less disposable income.
“I would like to thank all the people of the area and the environs for their custom, loyalty and respect that they have shown to both myself and all our family over the years.” said Rory.
Speaking to the Donegal Democrat Ernan McGettigan said, “This is a sad day for the town - Quinlan’s has been part of this town in various guises for nearly a century.
“Retailers in Donegal Town and elsewhere are facing an extremely difficult time - many are just struggling to keep their doors open and not even taking a wage. They are just operating from day to day.
“Rates are a major factor on top of water, effluent, waste and insurance costs, not to mention the ever increasing energy costs. When you factor in a shrinking market with less disposable income it is patently obvious that the problem has to be addressed if the smaller retailers are to survive.”
McGettigan added that Donegal Town has evolved into a “Seasonal Town” as opposed to the “Market Town” that it was once know for.
“We have gained from tourism in a big way but the downside is that many of the existing businesses now close in the off season period.
“In our own operation we have had to meet the recession head on and diversify - our ‘recessionary gourmet sausages’ now form one of the biggest slices of our market and we are presently developing this further. “As a town we are facing probably the biggest challenge of our time but the challenge is there to be overcome. We have developed many niche markets with our festivals and the various festivals that the individual hotels are hosting. If we stick together, maximise our resources and support each other we will get through this recession together.”