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Music Store Owner Retires

The owner of the market's iconic music store, Seedee Jons, is retiring at the end of this year.

John Holley has been part of Jersey's music industry for three decades, best known for his Central Market store.

But has decided now is the time to step back and retire.

He's been speaking to Channel 103 about his journey.

"To start, I had been working for a chap called Don Le Flem at Lady Jayne Records/Compact Disc for 11 years. I saw it as my apprenticeship really into the music business.

Then I decided in 1993 that it was my turn."

John Holley at Lady Jayne Records

Seedee Jons has called three different places home but it all began on Colomberie in St Helier in the early 90s.

"I opened that store up on a budget of £5,000. It used to be a card shop, so the racks were perfect to put the CDs in.

We opened it up on a shoestring, but it became successful."

John says there have been hundreds of memories over the years.

"I had a store for nine years up at the JEC's Powerhouse and after that lease I moved back into St Helier,.

Woolworths, HMV and Blockbuster all shut down at the same time, which left me as the only person selling music."

Seedee Jons has called the Central Market home since 2020, he says opening that store was his proudest moment.

"When I first came to Jersey I worked in Rock Island, which was a shop in Halkett Place, and I would look out of the window and think 'I'd love to have a shop there' and now I have.

Out of all the stores I've had it's the one I really love."

Opening of Seedee Jons Market store in 2020

The way we consume music has changed dramatically in the 30 years John has been in the industry.

He says it has actually come full circle.

"I started selling vinyl records and cassettes, then Compact Disc's (CDs) came in so we had to evolve and we set up a shop called the Compact Disc Centre.

Then people started streaming their music so I got involved in selling the first iPods on the island. Now people have realised that its nice to have some tangible to have and look at and have gone back to vinyl."

After 30 years, we asked what is in store for John's retirement.

"It's with a heavy heart that I'm retiring, I have loved every minute but its time to hand over the baton to someone else. I need to retire one day and that day has come.

I intended to take it easy for a month or so then I'll look for something part-time, do a bit of fishing like people do when they retire and go on a few holidays."

John will be having leaving drinks at the Merchant Coffee bar on Saturday (2 Dec) and says everyone is welcome.

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