Popular Ormeau Road newsagent closes after 22 years
Customers of a newsagent on the Ormeau Road have expressed dismay at the news that the shop is to cease trading after 22 years in business.
The owners of McMillan's, on the corner of Haywood Avenue, shared a message with regular customers stating the shop would shut on Sunday, June 30.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal custom and support over that time," the message read.
SDLP councillor Seamas de Faoite said the Ormeau Road had become increasingly competitive for traders.
"It (the shop) has been there for quite some time and I know it will be a loss for a lot of regular customers," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"My grandfather died in 2003, but when I was a child I was in and out of the place with him.
"He went in for the lotto or cigarettes, but he always enjoyed being able to have a conversation with the guys that owned it because they were always very friendly and knew everybody on the road. I can't say why they have closed, but I would guess it is a fairly challenging trading environment.
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"There's a lot of new developments in recent years that have opened up commercial units.
"That does probably mean there's increased competition, and that may be a contributing factor."
Mr de Faoite said the closure would be felt keenly by long-term residents who had built up a relationship with the owners.
"In contrast to that, we still do have a lot of independent businesses doing very well on the Ormeau Road. That includes a lot of independent restaurants and cafes, so there is a successful local economy," he added.
In the aftermath of the Primark fire, a number of city centre traders said high rates bills had made it increasingly difficult to turn a profit.
Mr de Faoite said there were different challenges in areas like the Ormeau Road.
"It's about how you keep footfall up or maintain a presence," he explained.
"Public transport is another huge part of that. That's why we keep pushing for it on the Ormeau Road in particular."
One regular customer posted on Twitter: "Very sad to receive this note from McMillan's. Our local newsagent, faithfully delivering papers to us for years, but not for much longer. They'll be sorely missed."
Another wrote: "Very sad indeed. I well remember popping in there to get the paper on my way to work. These shops just can't survive. We lost our newsagent on Rosetta Road too."