Popular Sheffield shop owner who delivered supplies to NHS staff dies from coronavirus
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Raj Aggawal, aged 51, ran the Spar at Hackenthorpe but also sat on the board of the Association of Convenience Stores and was known across the UK.
He also ran a store in Wigston in Leicestershire as well as the Insomnia Coffee Shop in Market Harborough, also in Leicestershire.
In one of his last posts on social media, he was delivering supplies to NHS workers.
Paying tribute, the ACS said: “We were absolutely devastated to hear the the news about the passing of Raj Aggarwal.
“Like many retailers, Raj has been out in his community while coronavirus has been spreading through the country. He’s been in stores, dealing with colleagues and the public, out with suppliers to get product in, and supporting local causes.
“His last LinkedIn post was of him dropping off supplies for NHS workers.
“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 tribute continued: “Raj was an independent retailer, a fixture at ACS’ and other industry events, a member of our independents board, a great entrepreneur, and most importantly a devoted family man.
“It’s right that we first pay tribute to Raj as a leading retailer in our industry.
“As a businessman, he was everything that we celebrate in our industry – connected to his community, willing to take a risk, totally focused on meeting customers’ needs, and aware that the way to do this was through developing and working with the team around him.
“The Raj that many of his fellow retailers knew was a permanently smiling and chuckling man who lived life to the full.”
In a tribute Spar said: “He will be sadly missed by all his colleagues. Always positive, always smiling, always helpful.”
Raj helped the homeless in South Yorkshire and donated food every week since 2018.