Lease and desist

Daniel MacEachern
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Longtime Avalon Mall tenant asked to leave to make way for new construction

Cham Tat, owner of Kim Le Tailor Shop in the Avalon Mall, is moving out after 18 years. Tat said the mall terminated his lease, forcing him to move downtown. — Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram

Cham Tat’s got just a few weeks left in the Avalon Mall, but he’s hoping he can find a loophole that will let him stay.

The tailor — whose alterations business Kim Le Tailor Shop has been in the mall for 18 years — has been asked to leave to make way for mall construction work, and administration doesn’t have another space for him to move into, he told The Telegram.

“It’s not my decision to move. That’s the mall’s decision,” he said Wednesday afternoon in his shop. “They terminated the lease, and I’ve got to go.”

Tat has posted a letter to his customers in the window of his shop, letting them know that he is moving his operations to 120 Duckworth St., where his wife Kim Le operates their other shop, but he’s worried about losing business, and would prefer to stay.

“Because I’ve been here so long, I have a lot of clients, and I’ve built up a lot of my clients here, so of course I would prefer here,” he said. “If the mall offered me another location … but right now they don’t have one for me, so I’ve got no choice.”

Tat said his lawyer is going over the lease to see if there are any loopholes to prevent its termination, but hasn’t found anything yet, and as things stand he’ll be out of the mall at the end of the month.

He said he’s worried about a lack of parking downtown — and that it might not be convenient for his mall customers to follow him downtown — but he’s trying to focus on the benefits of the move.

“Because downtown is more difficult for parking, I will make the operation hours more flexible to the customer,” he said, noting his Duckworth shop isn’t constrained by the mall’s hours.

“We will make appointments, too, after hours, so that will make it easier for customers. I will open Sunday. I can do many things to bring my customers from the mall downtown.”

Tat said his customers have been supportive of him as he’s informed them of his move.

Requests left by The Telegram for comment from Avalon Mall administration were not returned.

 Twitter: TelegramDaniel


Organizations: The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Jack
    May 23, 2012 - 09:27

    Because Crombie REIT and its parent company, Sobey's, are known for treating hard working and honest mall tenants like dirt, and leave their malls in derelict condition, I think that now is the time for Sobey's to get out of the mall business altogether and focus on their main specialty, Supermarkets.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    May 11, 2012 - 14:06

    You can be sure that if this were one of the - national franchise store - operations this would never happen. Basically kicking out a customer of 18years. So much for loyalty and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit!

  • Austin Elliott
    May 11, 2012 - 11:56

    No question about it....we will follow him downtown. Best of luck sir. I've enjoyed our talks about California. You do a great job. Austin and Doreen

  • A loyal customer
    May 11, 2012 - 11:04

    I have had my clothes tailored by Mr. Tat for years (especially my jeans, he does the best euro-hem in town). I agree with Bill, most times I go to the mall its only because I want to get an item tailored. I usually stick around and browse the other shops and I'm sure a lot of other customers do the same. Management, let Mr. Tat stay and if you don't, I'll gladly follow his business downtown. Good luck Mr. Tat!

  • ML in NL
    May 11, 2012 - 10:15

    Bad news for Mr. Tat. Anyone who has dealt the the Avalon Mall administration knows what he's going through. If they say you're out...then you're out! No loophole will save you! Best of luck!

  • Bill king
    May 11, 2012 - 08:42

    I wish Mr. Tat all the best in his new location. In fact many people like myself only go the Avalon Mall in search of his tailoring. Another reason for me not to visit the Avalon Mall! Shame on the Avalon Mall for being so disrespective to a business that has supported the Mall for 18 years.