Shoe Repair Shops in Urban Areas Struggle to Survive | Be Korea-savvy

Shoe Repair Shops in Urban Areas Struggle to Survive


SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire)In the midst of the sharp increase in telecommuting due to the coronavirus pandemic, shoe repair shops in high-rise office building areas are facing a crisis with a steep decline in the number of customers.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, 49 shoe repair shops in the city shut down last year.

Other factors behind the waning popularity of such businesses include the preferences of younger Koreans who often opt for sneakers instead of more formal footwear and changes in consumption habits with a shift towards buying new shoes rather than repairing old ones.


Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a fatal blow to many shoe repair businesses.

“I made an income of about 100,000 won (US$90.56) per day before COVID-19,” said Kim Jung-won, a 68-years-old man who has been engaged in the work of repairing and shining shoes for about 40 years.

“However, my income started dropping sharply from March 2020 and now it’s difficult to earn even 10,000 to 20,000 won a day.”

Image Credit: Yonhap /

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