Award-winning store owner and well-known convenience industry figure Raj Aggarwal has become the second independent retailer thought to have died from Covid-19.
The 51-year-old passed away last Thursday (9 April). He leaves behind a wife a family.
Spar retailer Raj owned stores in Leicester and Sheffield. He was an active NFRN member and sat on the Independent Board of the ACS.
NFRN National President Stuart Reddish was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
“Raj was such a lively character and a legend when it came to retailing,” he added.
The ACS said: “This is a terrible loss that will be felt personally by many people in our industry, and it should also remind us: there are people putting themselves in harm’s way to help the country through these difficult times, and to lose one of them in Raj is a hard thing to comprehend and accept.”
The trade association’s boss James Lowman said he was “still totally in shock” after hearing the news.
When the coronavirus first took hold in the UK, Raj donated trays of bread to local charities supporting the homeless. His last post on LinkedIn read: “Next stop Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, dropping off tea, coffee and biscuits for our frontline NHS staff who are doing an amazing job. #strongertogether”
His death follows that of newsagent Krishnasamy Chiyamalan from Dartford in Kent.