A PRIME central Warrnambool retail site which has sat vacant for five months after a shoe store went broke will come alive again next month when Melbourne-based chain Ishka opens for business.
It has taken a lease on the former SSW Shoes site at the Kepler-Koroit streets corner, owned by the Temperance Hall Property Trust.
Ishka staff have been moving stock in this week and are scheduled to have a “soft” opening next week before a grand opening on November 10, company marketing manager Carla Whetton told The Standard yesterday.
“We are really excited to be opening in Warrnambool,” Ms Whetton said.
“It will be our fifth new store in three months.
“It’s a prominent site with huge windows which will let in heaps of light on the store, which will have about 15,000 items of stock.
“It’s a bit like organised chaos.
“There’ll be an eclective mix of handmade items imported from 14 countries and local artisans including furniture, fashion, gift lines, jewellery and homewares.
“We’ll add a bit of colour to the area.”
Ishka was founded by entrepreneur Michael Sklovsky, who was one of the first Melbourne traders to import clothing and handcrafts from Indonesia in the early 1970s.
According to Ms Whetton, he visited Warrnambool looking for a suitable site.
She said Mr Sklovsky considered the Koroit-Kepler streets corner to be ideal.
“He’s the face of Ishka,” Ms Whetton said.