46-year-old independent pet shop closes blaming gentrification

A 46-year-old local pet shop in Forest Gate is to close blaming gentrification of the area for its demise.

Smallholders Pet & Aquatic Centre opened in 1948 and its current owner, Kevin Shaw, 46, has worked at the store for 19 years. He said Forest Gate and especially the area around Woodgrange Road where his shop is based, is undergoing regeneration, and that “loads of shops at the other end of the high street which are closing already”.

The shop will continue trading for the next three months, before it closes for good with Shaw uncertain about the possibility of finding a new location for his business. He said he was “gutted” about the store’s closure with many local people echoing his words on the shop’s Facebook page.

One local asked, “where will we go without a car?” while others wished Shaw luck in finding a new premises.

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