A SOUTHAMPTON shoe repair shop is to shut its doors after 58 years of serving customers.

Gasniers in Shirley High Street has announced it will be closing on July 13.

The family-run business opened in 1961 and offered key cutting, engravings and small leather goods.

The manager of the independent shop, Harold Gasnier, said: "The lease has come to an end and it will be sad to see it go, but I did not want to sign up to another long lease, which could have been between five and ten years.

"I decided I wanted a bit of a retirement after running the shop for nearly 30 years and I made this choice over the last 12 months.

"There are three other people who have worked in this store with me for a long time, but they understood my decision."

Gasniers have repaired approximately "a million" shoes and the store even used to make clown shoes for 15 years, according to Harold.

He said: "I had a friend who wanted some and we started making clown shoes for film companies, which were mostly for horror films.

"We also made leather outfits for film companies, which I have connections with as I still act.

"There are no shoes that were too difficult to fix because we are trained shoe makers and can repair things that some people say are beyond repair."

"Shoes could take 15 to 20 minutes to repair, but sometimes they could take three hours if they were more complicated."

He added: "My father started this shop because he learned to make shoes in France and he then decided to move to Southampton after the war. Our other shoe shop in Hythe closed 15 years ago and the store in Shirley is the last to close."

One resident said: "That's the last decent shop gone from Shirley, it was one of the last family owned shops from the days when Shirley was a street of specialised shops to cater for your every family needs.

"I shall miss Gasniers personal service and quality goods and wish them well from an old Shirley trader."

Another resident said: "Unfortunately this is a trend increasing throughout the country and I speak as a Shirley trader who’s family have traded in Shirley for 60 years. Online sales have affected a lot of shops and overheads are now sky high."

The business will be trading as usual until the day it closes and Just Sew in Tee Court, Romsey, will be "taking in work for Gasniers" future clients, according to Harold.

Southampton City Council has been contacted for comment.