Butcher shuts up West Street shop

Carrickfergus town centre. Archive picture.
Carrickfergus town centre. Archive picture.

Carrick’s last remaining traditional town centre butcher’s shop has closed its doors after 35 years’ trading at West Street.

McDowell’s has transferred its business to the Milestone garage at Marshallstown Road.

Owner Mark McDowell blamed “lack of footfall” in Carrick town centre for the decision.

Mark said: “We would like to thank our loyal customers for their support and trust you will follow us to the Milestone garage on the Marshallstown Road where you will be warmly welcomed.”

He noted that the West Street shop had been opened by his father Kenneth in 1982.

He indicated that it had enjoyed its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s when there was more employment in the town.

Mark recalled that five butchers had worked in the shop at a time.

More recently, he suggested that a public realm scheme to upgrade walkways in the town centre had a detrimental effect on trade.

“The work in the town centre was an issue.

“When the paving took place, it hurt the surrounding businesses.

“It affected trade big style,” he added.

He also noted that the arrival of supermarket “giants” in the town may have contributed to a decline in trade.

He went on to say that his business has “taken a big dip” during the last five or six years.

It was around this time that he opened another outlet at the Milestone garage.

“You have got to move with the times. I have been here at the Milestone for the last six years. It is a lot busier.”

He went on to say that the closure of McDowell’s shop at West Street is “yet another blow that Carrick doesn’t need”.

Last year, Both Pebbles Embroidery at North Street and the High Street Poundstretcher branch closed.