THE owner of a men’s designer clothing shop has swapped shopping centres in Bolton after he claims he was asked to leave because his premises were not big enough.
D3G Clothing’s Mohamed Patel has relocated in Bolton’s Market Place shopping centre from Crompton Place, where he previously had a unit for seven years.
He says he was asked to move units by Crompton Place bosses. They say he was offered an alternative unit.
The 29-year-old says his business was closed for three months, from September to December last year. He is now opened next to River Island in the Market Place.
He said: “I had a 15-year lease in Crompton Place with a clause that I could leave after five years if I so wished.
“I took the option to come out of the lease and negotiated a new five-year lease with an option to break it after two years.
“I signed it without having it legally checked.
“In the new lease, there was a clause saying they could give me a month’s notice to leave and that’s what happened.
"To treat a local business like that is very disappointing. My business is not a multiple. We are independent local traders, a Bolton company.
“I am delighted that the Market Place did us a favour and gave us a unit in a great location, but for a while it was very depressing.”
Mr Patel said his brothers Latif, aged 35, Wahid, aged 32, Hussain, aged 30, Pir, aged 28, and Tufail, aged 23, work within the business and the three months without trading affected the family.
He added: “What dis-appointed me even more is they wouldn’t let me put a notice in the unit, which was vacant for the three months after I left, telling customers where I had moved.”
Crompton Place manager Malcolm Angus said: “We are sorry to hear Mr Patel feels disappointed.
“He was offered an alternative, larger unit to move to within Crompton Place on the same terms, combined with a rent free period offered by the landlord as a goodwill gesture.
"He turned this offer down. The reason we asked Mr Patel to move in the first place was that the unit he was in has been joined up with several smaller units to create a much larger retail space.
“This redevelopment is aimed at attracting larger, high street names to Crompton Place and Bolton — companies which may have discounted us in the past because we were not able to offer them a unit large enough.
“It is all part of our commitment to improve the choice on offer for the four million-plus shoppers who visit us each year.
"We have had two new openings — Poundland and Subway — and we are continuing in talks with other retailers who have expressed an interest in the new, larger unit we have created.”