Drawing in the crowds wasn't a problem but controlling them was as queues of customers, including local shop owners, gathered to witness the grand store opening by the Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Margaret Fearnley. Naz, who grew up in neighbouring Batley, says: 'I've never seen anything like it. It was beyond my imagination.'
Unzé is the retail arm of Shalimar Shoes Ltd, a company established in 1989 by the Saleem family, stocking own label ladies shoes. The store opening follows several months of launches, bringing the total number of Unzé stores to 15. Four more are scheduled to open soon and a further two are in the planning stage. Naz explains his reasons for becoming a franchisee: 'Unzé is a brand that's fast growing in the marketplace. I am impressed by the quality of their products and the way they operate.
Whatever Unzé say, they do. They know this business and do the job very well. Head office came down for the opening week to help in any way they could - it would have been very difficult without them.'
Dewsbury is a town on a path of regeneration and the Unzé store is one of the first of the older units, previously left vacant, to be revived. Naz wants to put Dewsbury back on the map as a place to come and shop and enjoy: 'The response to the store has been huge and has motivated me even more,' he says. 'It has made me look ahead to the future and opening more Unzé stores.'
Published: 6 July 2006
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