Joe and Erica Mahon are second generation owners of an East Vic Park Institution that is Reid’s Bootmakers and they are facing the biggest change in the business’ 35 year history.
For those who missed their post on Facebook, read below.
We wish the Mahon family well and hope that this new beginning won’t be too far from the strip, although gauging from the reaction to this post, their friendly smiles, quality workmanship and personalised service will see their loyal customers follow them wherever they may roam.
‘As some of you might know it was my birthday last Friday and my day was going along quite well until late in the afternoon when I received an email from the property manager for this shop telling me that the owner of the building was not going to renew our lease which is due to expire on November 30th 2015. No reason was given just to say that they wish to have the building empty on that date with all fitting removed and all surfaces repainted, floors refinished etc.
Well to say I was gutted would be an huge understatement. I felt sick to the stomach and even now writing this I have that same feeling in my gut. Reid’s Bootmakers was born in April 1980 some 35 years ago, when my father in law Kevin Reid and his wife Lynette bought the business from the previous owner’s family following the death of the old bootmaker. I believe he died sitting on a small 3 legged stool out the back used for hand stitching which we still keep in use. My wife Erica was just 8 at the time and so she and her brother have grown up in this shop and well we had similar hopes for our own children to grow up here too. Our children’s heights have been marked on the wall over the last 8 years since we bought the business keeping up the family tradition that my wife and her brother grew up with.
Five years ago we decided that the shop really needed a facelift and we borrowed some money against our home to refit the front area of the shop. It was a big job and we were initially quoted between $50K to $70K but we managed to cut the cost by doing some of the work ourselves and were very lucky that a mate worked for a shop fitting company and pulled some strings to get us a good price. Sadly now we are going to have to pull it all out and try to salvage what we can for the next shop.
So, where to from here you might ask? Well we really don’t know at this stage, as we are still somewhat in shock. Being given 12 weeks to relocate a business is a big ask and we are trying to negotiate an extension with the landlord at the moment and are hopeful that they will give us some more time. Finding a shop of this size, in a good location, with the appropriate layout is no simple task. We operate in just 50 square meters and use some pretty heavy duty machinery which must be on a concrete floor and have a heavy duty electrical supply. Many of the shops we have looked at this week have wooden floors and so are not suitable or they are simply too large and so very expensive.
We will be updating our Facebook page and website over the coming weeks and so we would ask all our customers to keep an eye on these so you know where to find us once we find a new location.
In the mean time we will be having a major SALE over the coming weeks to clear the stock of shoes and ugg boots we currently have in the hope of raising some funds to help pay for fitting out the new shop and for signage etc.
We would like to thank all of our customer for their loyal support over the last 35 years at Reid’s. It really is appreciated and we really hope you will still be our customers in whatever new location we find’.
Joe and Erica Mahon