Reports from Cuba: A leather goods store with two employees and one pair of shoes in Central Havana

Natalia Lopez Moya reports in 14yMedio from Havana via Translating Cuba:

A Leather Goods Store with Two Employees and One Pair of Shoes in Central Havana

At La Reina leather goods there was only one pair of sandals for sale this Monday.

The “special offer” was actually the only one and flawed. In the La Reina leather good store, belonging to the Caribe chain of stores and located in Centro Habana, they only sold, this Monday, one pair of female platform sandals with a broken strap. The rest of the displays, dozens of them, were empty.

Located on the popular corner of Reina and Galiano, the place occupies a large air-conditioned space surrounded by elegant stained glass windows that remain deserted.

“There they sold some Brazilian Piccadilly brand shoes, they were a bit expensive, but they lasted because they were strong,” Marta, a former client of that business, told 14ymedio, who sold her products in the now defunct convertible pesos. “There were for all types of people, from the smallest to the highest numbers and they also sold umbrellas, bags and other merchandise.”

Located on the popular corner of Reina and Galiano, the place occupies a large air-conditioned space.

Now, in the center of the store, two workers use their mobile phones to kill the hours that pass without interacting with the public.

“We only have that pair that you see there, it’s size 40, so they don’t work for you,” said one of the shop assistants to a lady who came looking for an offer. The woman asked when merchandise would come again. “God only knows,” replied one of the shop assistants.

Leaving the establishment, the woman complained: “What is the logic of keeping this place open paying for air conditioning and electricity and the salary of two people, just to sell a pair of half-torn shoes?”