AS the shutters came down on the Dundalk Shopping Centre last weekend for the final time, the clamour for keepsakes began!
In a change to initial plans, Tesco opted to move out of their original store and into a new temporary unit before Christmas.
The move, after 40 years, meant that the final part of the 1970s building, fondly known as the 'Old Shopping Centre' is set for demolition in the coming weeks.
And nostalgia over the loss of the centre has certainly been growing, according to Tesco spokesman Michael Sullivan.
'I have had so many calls over the last while from local people asking if they could keep certain items from the centre,' said Michael.
'One call was from a a man wanting to keep the litter bins, another from someone hoping they could secure the clock from the middle of the centre. It really is exceptional the reaction we have had to the closure.'
The Old Shopping Centre closed on Saturday evening, ahead of the first opening of the adjacent temporary store on Monday morning.
'This is the first time in Ireland that we have used a temporary unit during construction of a new store. We had the unit shipped over from England,' said Michael.
The store was put together 'like a jigsaw puzzle' he added, creating a bright, modern premises for customers during the busy festive shopping season.
'We decided this was the right time to make the move,' he added.
The temporary store is now accessed from the Avenue Road, and features a new purpose built car park, and both existing tenants from the Old Shopping Centre, Traynors Butchers and Hickeys pharmacy.
'Plans for the new store have also moved up somewhat, and we are hopeful of launching by late summer, which is ahead of schedule.'
Store manager Gary Redmond said he was delighted to welcome the first new customers to the temporary store at 8 a.m. on Monday.
'We had everything stocked and ready ahead of the opening, and are looking forward to serving our customers from this new venue over the coming months.'