NORFOLK, Va. - With the majority of the population working from home, suits, ties and fancy dress shoes are put away in the closet. That means shoe repair businesses are slipping.
"This is unprecedented," said Jeff Evans, owner of Hall's Shoe Repair in the Ghent area of Norfolk.
Each day, Evans is literally pounding the pavement, hoping to keep a six-decade old business on solid ground.
"It was like the faucet turned off," Evans said. "We dropped down to maybe doing 20% of what we were used to doing."
Hall's Shoe Repair is down 80%
"Courts are closed, law offices are closed, the white-collar folks are working at home in their bedroom slippers or barefoot -- they are not out here walking, wearing out shoes," Evans explained.
Even as walk-in traffic is dwindling, Evans is still in his shop daily, putting his heart and soul into his business.
"I had to be open because this is how we feed our family and pay our bills. It's our source of income," Evans said.
He says another reason for the drop in sales is because many of the other businesses around him along the Colley Avenue corridor are closed.
"Foot traffic is paramount," Evans said. "If you don't have people out there to come see, that impacts business drastically."
Evans says now is the time he hopes his fellow community members will give their footwear a second look.
"Go through your closets, get the boots in good shape now and put them away for next year, and check out your sandals and get them ready to wear," Evans said.