Saskatoon shoe repair, luggage shop to close after 43 years
Published Friday, July 31, 2020 9:16AM CST Last Updated Friday, July 31, 2020 7:09PM CST
SASKATOON -- One of Saskatoon's longest-running businesses will shut its doors next month.
The Awl Shoppe, known for breathing new life into shoes as well as its selection of luggage, purses and accessories, will close on Aug. 28.
“It’s mostly due to COVID-19,” Alyssa Byrns, manager of the Awl Shoppe, told CTV News.
The store was forced to close for three months under the COVID-19 public health order.
With travel restrictions still in place, Byrns said luggage sales have plummeted.
“People just aren’t buying luggage anymore. It’s really hurt our business, in fact, we’re down 90 per cent in sales,” she said.
“It’s just really sad it had to end like this, something we never expected to happen.”
The Awl Shoppe announced the news over Facebook, where customers shared sadness over the news.
Byrns said she’s seen multiple generations of customers come to the store for repairs.
The Awl Shoppe opened in 1977 by Byrns’ dad, uncle and their friend.
Repairman Jesse Hicks said the Awl Shoppe was the best job he’s ever had.
“I love all the learning I’ve been doing on repairs or sales, it’s just great all around,” he said.
Byrns said the repair equipment won’t be sold, and the family business is holding out hope they can reopen to a smaller location in the future.