Crawley’s oldest music shop is to close .
Hobgoblin Music in The Parade, Northgate, which opened in 1977 and used to attract international customers, is set to close late February.
Nobby Styles, its manager for the last five years and a folk musician, said the closure was a sign of the times.
He said: “It’s sad to see it go after so many years.
“Instrument musicians aren’t gigging as much as they used to because pubs and clubs haven’t got the money to afford them.”
Pete McClelland, 62, managing director of the Hobgoblin Music chain and his wife opened the Crawley shop.
He said it had been “left behind” by Crawley and the closure would have no effect on the town.
He said: “We cannot get anyone to come to the Crawley shop anymore which is a shame because it was so successful in its heyday.
“Crawley’s business rates have never been a problem.
“Before the age of the internet the railway, motorway and airport made it a real hub.”
He said the shop was running at a loss and a part-time member of staff would be made redundant.
The chain was opening a new site near Brighton train station.
Pete and his wife Mannie established Hobgoblin Music, which now has several shops in the UK, in 1976.
They sold folk instruments in a barn in Ifield Wood before opening the Crawley shop.
Pete said: “We opened the shop and people were queueing up before we knew it.
“It was between 2000 and 2005 that it started to go off the boil.
“The town once did really seem to be very vibrant, the folk festival did seem to have many people turn up and now it doesn’t.”
Pete, from Worthing, lived in Crawley from 1975 to 1988 and ran the Crawley shop until 1992.