Small shops need loyal customers

Long-established business: Craig Statters at Towngate Shoe Repairs, which is facing more competition
Long-established business: Craig Statters at Towngate Shoe Repairs, which is facing more competition
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Local businesses are calling for customers to stay loyal as a supermarket giant opens a new range of services in Leyland.

Towngate’s Tesco Extra store has undergone a revamp which has seen it get a pharmacy and beauty salon, and a Timpsons key cutters, shoe repair and dry cleaners has now opened in a small hut at the front of the shop.

Craig Statters, who runs Towngate Shoe Repairs opposite Aldi, and Pat Davis, who owns a similar shop on Chapel Brow, are now hoping their customers stay loyal and back independent businesses as well as using the supermarket for their usual shopping trips.

Craig, who is a former pupils of Wellfield High School in the town, said: “The business has been here since 1994 and I’m a trained cobbler, so my customers have always said they will support me and the firm.

“I do key cutting, shoe repairs, engraving, trophies, shoe care, dry cleaning and lock smith services.

“I’ve been here since the start; I was the manager for two years and then I took over the business.”

He added: “I hope my customers stay loyal to me and other local shops. They have done so far.”

Pat, who has had a shop in Leyland for 30 years, said: “I knew it was bound to happen eventually.

“I can see that it’s convenient for people to shop at places like that, but I really hope people continue to support me and Craig.”

She added: “When people want a good, personal service, they’ll go out of their way to get it.

“I have people who have moved away from Leyland, as far away as Australia, and they bring me their shoes for repair whenever they’re visiting family in the area.

“People may try something new, but they’ll come back.”