Cobblers, popularly called “shoemakers” in Accra, have blamed the near collapse of their business on the increase in the sale of cheap foot wear, commonly known as “low-cost”.
They said the low prices of footwear had discouraged their patrons from repairing faulty ones.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) found out in a survey that the shoe repair business was increasingly becoming unattractive.
Sampson Akoto Asare, popularly known as “expert shoemaker”, a footwear repairer at the Tema Station in Accra, said his business had “slimed down” drastically due to the influx of assorted cheap foot wear, describing the rival business as “an enemy to our job”.
He said he used to make at least a GH₵100.00 a day some years ago, but now he could only make GH₵30.00 a day, which he explained, was outrageously meagre to live on.
Mr Akoto Asare, who is the breadwinner of a family of six, therefore, called on footwear dealers to increase the prices of their wares to deter buyers from always buying new footwear instead of repairing faulty ones.
“Now the business is sinking, we shall all stop and find other businesses,” he said.
At Dansoman, Philip Gyima said he was thinking of adding a new business to the shoe repairing one, which complained, was becoming a no income venture.
“For the past three days, I have not made even GH₵40.00,” he said. “Everyone wants to buy new shoes instead of repairing the faulty ones.”
For Kwasi Appiah, the shoe repairing business at Mallam Market was nothing to write home about.
He said the venture was “seeing death in its face” as many people hardly repaired their faulty footwear.
“Even market women now buy new slippers instead of fixing new ones,” he said. “I think we all have to sell footwears instead of repairing them.”
But for Stephen Kwame Addae, going mobile, he said, was the solution to sustain his livelihood.
The 19-year-old, who now treks Lapaz, to find business, said he was making significant gains.
“Of late many people feel lazy to bring their footwear for repairs,” he observed. “They expect us to come to their locations to render the service.”
He, therefore, advised cobblers to move from their abodes and chase businesses around, saying, “We can convince people to repair their faulty shoes or slippers instead of buying new ones.”
Meanwhile, the GNA also gathered that dealers who are into the sales of “low cost footwears” were enjoying a boom in business making the venture very attractive”.
The interviews revealed that the cost of repairing faulty footwear ranged from GH₵1.00 to GH₵20.00 depending on the nature of the damage.
On the other hand, the price of the low cost footwear, being complained about ranges from GH₵3.00 to GH₵50.00 depending on the quality of material used and the demand.