Following 18 months of uncertainty and hard work, two retailers have reopened their store after it was destroyed during the London riots.
Ravinder and Amrit Khurmy’s Ealing Green Local store was set alight during the riots which took place in August 2011 causing devastating damage. “The whole building was on fire and even when that was put out, there was a massive hole in the floor that went to the basement,” says Ravinder. “Making sure the building was structurally sound has taken this time alone.”
Despite this massive setback, the couple were determined to keep going and reopen their business. “We never contemplated quitting retail as we had only been in the store for about three years,” he said. “We weren’t ready to give up just yet.”
Amarjit Bhdaal of Spar Auckley in Doncaster took a personal interest in their situation after the family appeared at a fundraising event. “It could happen to any of us,” he said. “They hadn’t done anything wrong but turned up one day to find their business and livelihood destroyed. I had to do whatever I could to help them, including making Spar aware of their situation. I tracked the family down on Facebook and kept emailing Spar to get them involved.”
According to the couple, Spar was a massive help in getting them back on their feet. “They provided so much support during the time we were closed and helping us reopen,” said Ravinder.
Previously unaffiliated, the couple joined the symbol group and are now trading as a Spar store.
Richard Harman, marketing director for SPAR Blakemore Trade Partners said: “We are always looking to work with successful retailers and we have no doubt that the couple will turn their store into a flourishing, prosperous business.”
Ravinder said that the family is now focused on getting the business back on track and reclaiming lost customers. “It’s been 18 months since we were open so we’re going to have to work hard to get our customers back,” he added. “We’ve been telling people the whole time that the shop will reopen so they haven’t forgotten about us. And if it goes well here, we may be able to open another store soon.”