Shoebox boosts town centre prospects

Euan Martin.
Euan Martin.

A new store has opened in Fraserburgh’s town centre, filling one of the vacant retail units scattered across High and Broad Street.

The new shop, which sells men and womens shoes and their related sundries, has been opened by former Spotty Bag shareholders Euan Martin and Vinay Ruparelia.

Mr Martin, who was formerly a lawyer in Banff, took the time to speak with us about their move into Fraserburgh, giving hope for further investment in the town centre should other businesses follow their example.

He said: “We spent a fair bit, a substantial investment, in Fraserburgh because we’re positive about Fraserburgh’s prospects.

“It’s taken about a year to get this project off the ground, and we’ve taken on two of the staff that worked here at Stead & Simpson - Tina Buchan and Julie Davidson.

“We thought it was crazy that people in Fraserburgh were travelling to Peterhead and Aberdeen to shop regularly. We thought we’d provide them with one more reason to stay in Fraserburgh.”

He added: “I know Fraserburgh had an image, but I’ve been very happy with what I’ve found.”

Mr Martin explained that their store would also be involved with the shop local campaign and praised the efforts of the Fraserburgh Forward Business Association who, later this month, have organised the annual late-night shopping event in Fraserburgh’s town centre.

Mr Ruparelia, who was not available for comment on Monday, is a well known face in the Banffshire area, the pharmacist the chairman of several groups in the North-east, including the charitable group Books Abroad.

He was, earlier this year, also selected as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire.

The Shoebox can be found on Broad Street, in the retail unit formerly operated by Stead & Simpson.