Inverness Shoe Zone store was filled with hundreds of ‘closing down’ signs on Wednesday, leaving customers “devastated.”
The popular shoe chain, located on the city’s High Street, took everyone by surprise with the announcement.
The P&J asked the store employees about the reason for the closure, but we were told they were not allowed to disclose it.
However, they have confirmed that the shop will be closing for good in late June.
The announcement comes a year after the Shoe Zone shop in Elgin was shut down.
Customers will now face a nearly three-hour one-way drive to reach the firm’s nearest store in Peterhead when the closure comes into effect.
Shoe Zone PR team has been contacted for a statement.
‘All small shops are closing’
Customer Rebecca Metcalf, from Elgin, said it is “really sad” to see the shop closing.
She explained: “All family businesses and small shops are closing and all we have left now are big retail parks away from the towns.
“It’s also a struggle for people who can’t drive or who cannot afford to get a car.”
A mother-of-four, the 40-year-old explained that she was “devastated” when the Shoe Zone in Elgin closed.
She said: “I loved it because they knew my children and were so good to me. It’s upsetting as Elgin is nearly empty now.
“It’s sad to see what’s happening in all High Streets in the country.
“I love little stores because you can build a connection with their employees.”
‘Our High Streets are dying’
Another customer at the shop, Kate Phimister, believes the loss of small shops is an issue across the country.
She said: “I’m from Kintore and my husband is from Forres and many small businesses there are closing; pubs, newsagents, clothing shops, etc.”
The 52-year-old continued: “Our High Streets are dying because all the shops that were once part of a thriving community are closing.
“It’s just really sad; a big loss for the community, which also means people won’t visit those places, which is bad for tourism.”