The doors of Newmarket's most iconic retail stores are about to close, saddening loyal customers.
However, Shoe Sheriff owner Peter Croad says while he'll be sad to shut the doors for the final time next month, he's setting up a new store just 200m around the corner.
Shoe Sherriff has been in the Croad family for more than 80 years on Broadway, the central Auckland suburb's main drag since 1938.
The past 20 years had been particularly tough as he fought - and won - against deep-pocket developers who wanted him out so they could build new.
It not only cost him around $200,000 - getting only $30,000 in costs back - but he also blamed his marriage break up on the battle, telling the Herald back in 2007 that it took a "huge emotional toll".
Today, he's readying himself to move into his new premises, which he bought after the country's lockdown 12 months ago, but it's a move that he's looking forward to.
"You can cry over your soup but you just got to get on with it.
"My ethic has been 'right, we can't stay here', we've just got to get this business going and it's more about the business rather than anything else, and keep it going.
"It's sad, I'll really miss this shop, I've been full time since 1979 and coming in since 1968 as a school boy."
The drivers behind the shift were mainly that he knew his lease was due to come up for renewal in October last year, and knew he'd be hit with a big rent rise.
That's exactly what he got; his approximate $40,000 rent was being proposed as $85,000, which he didn't believe was excessive given the value of land in the area.
"Of course, we're opposite probably one of the most expensive buildings in the southern hemisphere, 277 and 309 [shopping malls].
"Our little piece of ground, which is only 120sq m, is probably worth something like $2 million and you go 7 per cent of that and it's right up there."
In 2018, he began looking around and eventually found his new spot in the Railway Square Building opposite Nuffield St.
"Being 65 now I would be 87 by the time the next lease was up so I thought, 'that's not going to work'."
That also came with a cost; he sold his "expensive house in Howick and bought a cheap do up in Te Atatu South that needs a lot of work".
He then used the extra money to fund himself into some square metres in the arcade.
"I bought it just after the first lockdown. There was a lot of doom and gloom around which was probably quite a good time to buy, I think.
"In the next month I will be in the new place. It's all set up and hopefully we'll be there for another 82 years."
As for his mammoth court battle, Croad admits that while he won the battle, "I didn't win the war".
"The war was unwinnable.
"Unfortunately it's just one of those things."
He said Newmarket was now in a "in a very interesting situation".
"The rents probably haven't been cheaper, I'd say, for probably 10 years because when they rebuilt 277 [Westfield] two or so years ago, it dumped all the tenants out."
Those tenants quickly scrambled for new spots until the mall reopened, then they were "sucked back in".
"And then as well as that there were a whole lot of empty tenancies and it was only about two months after that Covid hit, and that hasn't been great for retail either.
"Now we've got a whole lot of empty tenancies that people can't rent for the money that people want for them."
With the two new malls opening there was now an oversupply of stores along Broadway, many of them empty.
Long-time customer David Stone was saddened to see the historic premises move on.
"It was a bit of history for Newmarket, they're closing their doors but they're just moving around the corner ... if you walk down the main drag now and look at how many empty shops there are ... and it's sad but that's development.
"The shop is filled with character ... the last bit of character on the strip."