Smoke-damaged shoe store to close; owner hopes to relocate

By Rosemary McCoy

The owner of a smoke-damaged shoe store is entering the final weeks of selling off his inventory.

An electrical fire started in the early evening Aug. 29 in the basement of Heels, 329 S. Minnesota Ave. While the fire damage was limited to the basement, all of Jeff Chau’s inventory sustained smoke damage.

He estimates he has 100 to 200 pairs of heels in dozens of styles left to sell. They are marked down to $8. He’s also selling shelving, pedestals, benches, two TVs, a security camera, a cash register and other items.

Chau had insurance and is planning to relocate, but he hasn’t found a site yet.

Selling off his inventory is crucial. “I have to sell out of product before I can order more,” he said.

Customers can call or text Chau at 605-988-6446 to meet him at the store. His lease runs until the end of the month.

Chau opened the business May 6. He had worked long hours gutting the former pawn shop space and renovating it.

“It took me six months to get to this place,” he said. “I’ve got to keep my head up, stay focused and move on. It’s hard.”

Much of the inventory has been sold already, and Chau said he’s thankful for the encouragement he has gotten to rebuild his business.

“The support out of Sioux Falls is unbelievable. I never in a million years would have thought that. It’s really a great place.”

New downtown shoe store focuses on heels


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Smoke-damaged shoe store to close; owner hopes to relocate

Opening Heels was a longtime dream of Jeff Chau’s. Now, after a fire damaged the store, he’s trying to save his business.

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