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Gravesend family business that survived the credit crunch finally forced to close its doors

PUBLISHED: 09:35 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:35 29 December 2016

Bobby's, on the High Street

Bobby's, on the High Street

Archant

The High Street school clothing shop faced a combination of rising rents and falling profits

Owner Davinda KaurOwner Davinda Kaur

Another Gravesend family-run shop is set to draw down its shutters for the last time due to the rising cost of doing business.

Davinda Kaur steered High Street school clothing shop Bobby’s Fashion through the credit crunch of 2008 and carried on trading after her husband died 12 years ago.

But she has finally been forced to call it a day as rents continue to rise while profits decline.

She told The Reporter: “It is heart-breaking, but it is too much work. I love my business, but I can’t afford to have a full-time helper, and I have to do everything myself.

“Bobby’s Fashion has been in town for many years and in the family for more than 30 years.

“I have enjoyed working here, but it is getting a little bit too expensive. Rates are going up and prices of the stock are going up, while takings are going down.

“The profit is very low and most of the money goes back into the business.”

Mrs Kaur added that she tried to negotiate with her landlord to keep the rent from rising at the end of her lease but was unable to reach a deal.

Her business also faces competition from larger stores and supermarkets, which can source goods more cheaply.

“A lot of people are very disappointed because there is so much demand for this type of business,” she said.

“Lots of local schools support me. People have been just great and were very supportive during a difficult time when my husband died.”

Mrs Kaur, who is in her mid-50s, now plans to take early retirement.

“My three children are all grown up and the lease is finishing,” she explained. “Now is the time we have to finish.”

Bobby’s Fashion is set to close its doors to the public during the first week of January.

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