THE owners of a family-run business in Carlisle have issued a rallying plea to customers after a neighbouring retailer shut up shop.

Simon Richardson, 50, who runs Keyishoes in Kingstown, took to social media last week to remind shoppers they still remain open for business after nearby home improvement company Homebase recently closed.

His mobile shop is based outside the entrance to the former store, and signed a contract to remain there until July.

Simon said: “Over the past months many people have visited the shop and there seems to be an assumption that because Homebase is closing, we will be moving on.

“In fact, we have no intention of moving and see the change, with two new stores replacing Homebase, as a reason to see a greatly increased footfall. I think for some reason people see Homebase as being the landowners, which of course they are not.

“We have just celebrated our 10th anniversary and we have seen increased business for each of those 10 consecutive years and hope the same to be true in 2020.”

The family business, which specialises in car keys and shoe repairs, describes itself as “local, independent and convenient”.

Homebase is set to be replaced next year with a new Smyths Toy Store and discount chain B&M moving into the retail unit.