• Friday, April 12, 2024

Human Interest

Saris to stop rolling out of this UK shop shelves after almost 60 years to allow owner to retire

The owner, Kishor Chauhan, who took over the business from his mother, said she has been working seven days a week for the last 65 years and wanted to take things easy and enjoy his life.

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

WE have heard about businesses fading or shutting down following retirement of top business leaders, but a family business in the UK that has been selling traditional Asian dresses for nearly six decades is shutting so that the owner can call it a day.

Milans started operations in the Highfields area of Leicester in 1964 to make it convenient for people arriving on the British shores from countries such as India and Pakistan, BBC reported.

Later, it shifted to Belgrave Road, now called the Golden Mile, and became a popular shopping destination for lovers of sari, a popular women’s garment from south Asia.

Kishor Chauhan, the owner, said it was finally time for him to take things “easy”.

Chauhan, whose family moved to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s, told the news outlet that when they set up the sari shop, there were a few Indian shops selling groceries and sweets but none selling saris.

His family also faced difficulties in getting an outfit for Chauhans’s sister at the time of her marriage.

“My sister’s marriage was arranged and my mother found it really difficult to get an outfit for my sister,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“They went to the market, bought a piece of cloth and made the sari themselves.”

This inspired Chauhan’s mother to set up the sari business and the former took over later.

The shop became a top draw for Indian migrants from countries such as Kenya and Uganda in due course.

Today, people go to Milans for shopping from places such as Birmingham and Coventry.

“People came with very little and the shop fulfilled their requirements,” Chauhan said.

The family earned respect and it was evident when in 2014, some 2,000 people gathered at the Golden Mile to pay respects to Rakesh, Chauhan’s intelligence son Rakesh, who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

But the days of Milans seem to be numbered now as Chauhan said it would close once the last of his stock was sold.

“I’ve been working seven days a week for the last 65 years,” Chauhan told the BBC, adding, “I think I’m getting old now and I need to take it easy and enjoy my life.”

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