Shop owner pulls out from Newport city centre and moves online
2:40pm Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
THE OWNER of a Newport high street electrical goods store is retiring after more than 40 years in the family business.
Ian Marks, from Newport, has been the owner of C Marks and Co Electrical Goods, affectionately known to many customers as “Charlie Marks” after his father, since 1972.
But after 41 years at the Commercial Street store, Mr Marks is closing up and moving his stock from the high street and onto an online website.
His father, whose real name was Caple Marks, started the family business, along with his mother Ada Marks, as a tobacconist on Commercial Road in the late 1940s, but over the years it developed into an electrical goods store.
Ian’s uncle, Max Shwartz, helped build the store from the tobacconist and developed it into an electrical goods store.
Mr Marks, 64, said: “As a little boy I remember going to government auctions, which sold ex-government radio equipment.
“It was an era when a lot of radio equipment became available after the war, and there was a lot of interest in them.”
His father worked at the shop until he died in 1979. Ian Marks was working in London, when he received a call by his father asking whether or not he would consider returning to Newport to run the family business.
He said: “My father had been unwell and he phoned me up one day and asked me if I would like to come back. I had been offered a financial accounting job in London, and I gave it a great deal of thought.”
But Mr Marks eventually returned to his native city and the rest, as he said, is history.
He added: “I’m retiring from the high street to spend some time developing the website. We are moving with the times. Business is now more directed towards the internet than the high street.
“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the people of Newport over the years and I shall miss the contact and the camaraderie with the customers.
“It’s been a fantastic 41 years and I’ve got some great memories.
“I’m retiring from the high street with mixed feelings. On the one part, sadness at leaving and not seeing all the customers, some of whom have become good friends over the years. And then I’m pleased to be retiring and I’m looking forward to have some time to relax a little.
“My father was not able to enjoy retirement, but I want to be able to.”
To visit the website, go to www.cmarksandco.com.
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