After nearly six decades in operation, a family-owned business specialising in traditional Asian dresses is set to close its doors as the owner, Kishor Chauhan, plans to retire.
Milans, originally established in Leicester’s Highfields area in 1964 to cater to the needs of newcomers from India and Pakistan, later relocated to Belgrave Road, known as the Golden Mile, the BBC reported.
The store gained popularity as a go-to destination for sari shopping.
Chauhan, whose family immigrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s, shared the store’s origin story.
He explained that it all began when his family struggled to find an outfit for his sister’s arranged marriage, leading his mother to sew a sari herself. Inspired by this experience, she launched the business, which Chauhan eventually took over.
Over the years, Milans has served numerous families, including migrants from Kenya and Uganda, providing essential items to those who arrived with limited resources.
In 2014, the Golden Mile temporarily closed its doors to allow approximately 2,000 people to pay their respects to Chauhan’s son, Rakesh, an intelligence officer who tragically lost his life in an RAF helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Despite the shop’s enduring popularity, Chauhan has decided to retire. Customers now travel from cities like Birmingham and Coventry to visit Milans.
The shop will close once its remaining stock has been sold.
Chauhan, who has dedicated seven days a week to the business for the past 65 years, feels it’s time to take a step back and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.