CHICAGO -- A renowned leather repair shop in the Loop suddenly shut down.
The owner and the inventory are apparently gone.
Signs on the doors of the shuttered Brooks Shoe Service say, “We are closing as of March 2nd. Thank you for your years of trust in our work.”
The business is on the sixth floor at 29 East Madison. The longtime owner Mike Morelli is a third generation shoe repairman with a reputation as the best.
But customers who were awaiting repair of their luxury goods are stunned.
Jamie Judkins bought her designer shoes in for repair in February and paid more than $80 up front to have them resoled and to get a protective suede covering.
Judkins says she never got her shoes back, wasn't notified the store was closing and now can't get in touch with the owner. She says she has been in contact with more than a dozen other people in the same predicament.
“It's very disappointing,” she says. “But more than the fact of the shoes it's the principal.”
Judkins is working to file complaints with police, the Better Business Bureau, and the city of Chicago.
Business Affairs and Consumer Protection released a statement to WGN saying:
This is a frustrating experience that no consumer should ever have to face. BACP is pursuing a consumer fraud investigation against Brooks Shoe Service that could result in citations and fines ranging $2,000-10,000 per complainant. Additionally the city can seek restitution and refunds for complaining customers.
Any consumer who feels they may be the victim of deceptive business practices should contact BACP by calling 311. Steps include:
Call 311 and file a complaint with BACP. You’ll receive an affidavit in the mail, sign and return it.
Contact your credit card company and bank if the work was paid with a card for a possible refund
Save the original receipts for any merchandise taken for repair that was not returned
File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
Contact the Illinois Attorney General Consumer Fraud Unit
WGN News attempted to reach the owner and was also been unsuccessful.