Where do you go to have your shoes repaired?
Most people rely on either itinerant cobblers or informal shoe shops to fix their footwear. After all, they’re ubiquitous, almost always within reach.
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The concept of a professional cobbler, complete with unique branding and modern customer care service doesn’t seem like an option—because many can’t imagine that it exists.
But that’s exactly what The Grand Cobbler is. A company specializing in the maintenance and repair of shoes, bags, and leatherwork, with proper offices, an online presence, and systems for orders, pickups and deliveries.
The Grand Cobbler was founded in 2014. Its first location was in the Lekki area of Lagos; it’s since opened a second space in the Osapa London district of the city. From these two outlets, it serves customers in the expansive area stretching from Lekki to Ajah.
These customers aren’t just attracted to it by its branding; they believe that it does a much better job of restoring their suede and leather goods than the street side shoemaker. And the company affirms that it has an edge over these informal practitioners; according to its team, they work with “the latest technology and quality materials,” so they’re able to achieve higher quality results.
Some of those results are on display on the Grand Cobbler’s social media pages. Before-and-after clips show handbags, travel boxes, and shoes that it has “brought back to life”. Soles replaced, heel caps fixed, surfaces treated and polished to sparkle, neat reworking, and nicely done colour changes all feature in its Instagram posts.
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These channels also contain interesting advice for using and maintaining footwear. For example, “new shoes should be worn for no more than two or three hours at a time”, or “greasy, oily stains (on suede) can be treated with a bit of baby powder.” If you hang around long enough, you’ll find something that could prove useful.
Despite being an upgrade on informal shoemaker or leatherworker, The Grand Cobbler doesn’t set bottom limits on the sort of work it can take on. It insists that “no work is too small”. According to the company, “whatever our customers request, we want to say ‘no problem.’”
So it’s not out of place that they also repair damaged eyeglasses.
They have an on-demand pickup and delivery service. Anyone who wants to get their shoe or bag repaired can send a direct message to The Grand Cobbler, with details about the item, and a few photos of it. The company will estimate the cost of the repair based on the information provided. If the customer agrees with the price, a dispatch rider will be sent to pick the item up. Finished work can be delivered upon request as well.
Professional cobblers are still a minority in the goods repair niche. But brands like The Grand Cobbler are trying to disrupt the status quo. With more Nigerians opting for better branded, higher-quality services, this business is sure to keep on expanding for the foreseeable future.
Featured Image Source: BrandArena
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