‘LAZY’ online shoppers have been blamed for the closure of a Leamington Old Town institution after nearly 50 years.
Family-run clothes shop Chez Rama – the first port of call for many after a new school uniform down the decades – has sold off its original premises on Clemens Street after nearly half a century of trading due to increased competition from the internet and cut price national cooperate chains.
But loyal customers will be pleased to know the second shop – directly opposite the original – continues to trade.
Ken Kanwar, who runs the shop with his wife Uma and brother Gian, said: “The internet has done major damage to retailers like us.
“Now everyone is so lazy they just go on a computer and order stuff which arrives at their home the next day.
“What they miss out on though is quality and personalized service, which also comes with a smile.
The business began selling babywear before expanding to children, adults, and finally uniforms for schools and clubs.
Ken said some customers had been coming to the shop since it first opened in 1971.
Children who they kitted out with uniforms in the early days now buy uniforms for their grandchildren.
And among the customers are some real characters.
Ken said on one occasion a man struggled to choose between three colours of safari style matching trousers and jackets so ended up buying all three, along with three matching shirts and ties.
He added: “As he went to leave, he turned around and told me he’d forgotten to buy a belt so said said he’s get it next time. I’m still waiting for him to come back and buy the belt.”
Ken – once chair of the Old Town Traders Association – has seen many changes in the area down the years.
That has included millions of pounds in investment.
“It’s a shame that all we seem to have around here now are hairdressers and cafes.
“When children used to have their uniforms fitted, their parents would often nip out to get this and that.
But for all the changes dad-of-three Ken plans to continue to offer the same first class service to customers which Chez Rama has become known for over the past five decades.
“People recognise me when I go out and thank me for our service and compliment the uniforms we have sold to them. We offer something more than the internet – and will continue to do so.
“Our customers still say they love to shop here and tell us they will miss us if we had to shut.”