Londis founder John Leach has died at the age of 86 following a three-year illness.
Leach was a past president of the London District Council of the National Grocers’ Federation (NGF). In the late 1950s he formed Londis – an amalgam of the words London District – with some of his fellow retailers.
He was the launch chairman of Londis and remained with the group until selling his 800sq ft store in Richmond, Surrey, to Subhas Patel in 1994.
In the 1970s the NGF merged with the Off Licence Association to become the National Food & Drink Federation. It then became the British Independent Grocers’ Association, before switching to its current title of the Association of Convenience Stores in 1995.
A religious man, Leach refused to sell cigarettes, tobacco, or alcohol at his store, which was founded by his father in 1892. The store subsequently suffered until he sold it to Subhas Patel.
After a few years with Londis, Patel switched to Spar but the store is now unaffiliated under the name DKS Food & Wine convenience store.