A shoe shop in Happy Valley, which stands in the middle of a street of estate agents, will be forced to close in September due to a rent hike. The independent store had served the community for 40 years, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.
Gigi Shoes, located on Wong Nai Chung Road, is now surrounded by nine property agents. Apple Daily quoted the owners as saying that there used to be multiple shoe stores on the street until they all closed down one-by-one. Their outlet was the last standing.
The owners said the store was opened in 1975 with an initial plan of selling imported European goods. It later switched its focus to producing tailor-made shoes. The shop’s owner, Ng Chung-fu, said that he decided to shut down his business after landlords had asked for a rental price he could not afford. He added it was not feasible to raise the price of their goods because customers “would then switch to buy overseas products”.
Ng Chung-fu said he has practiced shoemaking since he was young, adding that he was “frustrated” and “saddened” by the shop’s expected closure.
In its final weeks, the shop will be holding a clearance sale. Many passers-by have been attracted by the low-priced products, according to Apple Daily, with old customers revisiting the shop and showing their support to the owners.