When it comes to shop names, it’s usually hairdressers and chippies that rule the roost with their inventiveness. There can be anything from ‘A Cut Above’ to ‘The Codfather’.
But Jel Singh Nagra sits firmly at the top of the shop name tree for the two titles his corner shop has held.
The 42-year-old from Stockton-on-Tees originally bought the shop when it was called ‘Singhsbury’s’, but, after facing legal action from supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s, he was forced to change it.
So, cleverly, he did. It’s gone from ‘Singhsbury’s’ to ‘Morrisinghs’ after encouragement from his customers.
He spent £350 to rename his shop, situated on Benton Road, North Tyneside, where he commutes 40 miles to work at each day.
“When the first sign went down, the customers kept asking what happened,” he said. “While I was away on my honeymoon in September 2012, I got a letter saying that Sainsbury’s was threatening to take me to court.
“In the letter they stated how much this would cost. My family saw the letter and took the sign down while I was away because they were so worried.”
The original shop title was in place for two years before Jel took over (and he’s been there six years) but the place remained nameless until the new sign went up last week.
Jel added: “My customers kept saying I should come up with a similar name, so I had to think of something.
“A lot of the customers come in here for the banter more than the actual service. But I do feel that the sign is bringing more business in.”
The dad-of-two said the new name has been very well received.
“When he posted the picture of the new name on our Facebook page, we had over 10,000 views in less than 24 hours, which was just mad,” he explained.
“People have driven past and pulled over so that they can take a photograph. It’s all a bit of fun and the customers love it.
“It is just a laugh, the aim is to get people talking and that’s worked.”
Sainsbury’s has commented on the sign change and said it was ‘grateful’ to Mr Nagra for removing the original.
Shop titles are classic for banter. On an otherwise grey high street, they can liven up the scene. In 2015, The Telegraph, highlighted 17 brilliant shop titles in London.
These included: ‘Floors For Thought’ – your one-stop need for all things carpets; ‘Ryan-Hair’ – I told you hairdressers always come up trumps on this; ‘R. Soles’ – for shoe related matters; and ‘Nin Com Soup’ – a style soup kitchen.
Featured Image Credit: North News