New start for Walsall shoemaker following forced move

A Black Country shoemaker is settling into its new home after weeks of upheaval.

Owner Kishor Chauhan, outside Park Place Shoe Repairs, at Saddlers Shopping Centre in Walsall. The shop was given a new home after having to leave the Quasar Shopping Centre
Owner Kishor Chauhan, outside Park Place Shoe Repairs, at Saddlers Shopping Centre in Walsall. The shop was given a new home after having to leave the Quasar Shopping Centre

Park Place Shoes was one of three Walsall businesses which were left homeless after being forced to move out of their previous home at the Quasar Centre, with Park Place Shoes having been there for more than 20 years.

Following this, Park Place Shoes, Park Place Meats and school uniform shop Clive Mark were offered new units in the Saddlers Centre by Walsall Council, with all three taking up the offer.

Rikesh Chauhan, son of owner Kishor, works at the shop and explained the circumstances behind their sudden move out of the Quasar Centre.

He said: "It was quite a rush as I think the owners of Quasar had seen there weren't too many shops still open in the centre and were looking to close it, plus the escalator broke down as well.

"They basically came to us and said they were looking to sell and they wanted everyone out before the end of April, so they told us to find another shop and agree to move out.

"It caused us a lot of disruption as we'd been there for more than 20 years and we had to find the funds to get a new machine and new sign and also let our customers know we had moved."

Mr Chauhan said the shop had been extremely lucky to get the offer of a new unit by Walsall Council and said the overriding feeling was one of relief.

He said: "We were definitely worried about what we were going to do as this shop has been our family's income for all this time.

"We also have a lot of loyal customers who we didn't want to let down, so it's good to be here and I hope our footfall begins to increase."

Mr Chauhan said the cost of moving, buying a new finishing machine and a new sign had cost close to £25,000, but said it was good to be able to keep going and welcome back their customers.

He said: "We're a family-run business and have been for close to 30 years, starting in the indoor market, then moving onto Quasar and now here.

"We'd never been closed as long as we have moving here, so it's reassuring to see our usual customers come with us, as well as a lot of new faces as well."

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