Buoyant co-owner of Crash Records buzzing for return of customers who feel 'like family'
The co-owner of Crash Records told the Yorkshire Evening Post he was celebrating a busy reopening of the shop on Monday - excited at the prospect of welcoming back 'old friends'.
Ian De Whytell, 63, has been the proud owner of Crash Records on the Headrow for more than 23 years.
The extremely popular shop was unable to open due to the recent lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
Not to be deterred, Ian said they concentrated on increasing their online presence - helped with the 'heartwarming' generosity of loyal customers who stuck by them.
However - speaking on the morning of reopening - Ian told the YEP he couldn't wait to see all of their customers again, many of which 'feel like family'.
Ian said: "This is the first day that we have been able to reopen.
"It has been such a great morning.
"There have been old familiar faces and new people through the doors already.
"It has been a really enjoyable day."
Customers flocked into the shop throughout the morning, eager to get their hands on the physical records for the first time in months.
Ian said he appreciated their customers sticking by them throughout the pandemic.
He added: "We have a lot of long time customers who have been waiting for this day.
"They have all followed the procedures and stuck by the rules, social distancing and keeping apart.
"The customers have come straight back to us which is great.
"We have regular customers we see every week and they have become like friends.
"It is like reconnecting with family.
"I love to catch up with our customers."
Ian said Crash Records had used the time they were forced to close to increase and improve their online output.
He said the customers had continued to purchase records online to support the shop.
He added: "We took the opportunity to improve our online store.
"That is one of the good things which has come from this, it has been a massive improvement [online].
"A lot of residents in Leeds want to support independent shops and ours have been no different.
"It is heartwarming for us."