Surbiton dry cleaner relieved Waitrose has 'no plans' to poach his customers (From This Is Local London)
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Surbiton dry cleaner relieved Waitrose has 'no plans' to poach his customers
A Surbiton dry cleaner breathed a sigh of relief after learning Waitrose had no plans to poach his customers, write Jon Sharman and Sam Petherick.
Robert Helliwell, 69, of Roberts Cleaners in Claremont Road, said he was delighted to hear the news.
He said: “This started because there was an article in the national papers that said Waitrose were going into family restaurants and also offering concierge-type dry cleaning.
“I mentioned it to someone in Waitrose who said I haven’t heard about that. The next time I went in they said ‘You’re right, we are and the plans are in the branch for when they did the shop fit’.
“I’ve got nothing against Waitrose. I use them. I was just very peeved next door were going to do this.”
Mr Helliwell, who has been a dry cleaner for more than 55 years, had planned to launch a petition to force Kingston Council to debate the issue.
A Waitrose spokesman said: “We pride ourselves on being part of the Surbiton business community, having traded here for many years, and only want to see local trade thrive.
“We have no plans to provide a dry cleaning service and from the end of October we will offer a simple flower wrapping service.
“We will not be offering flower arranging so it will be complementary to the specialist service provided by [next-door shop] Gardenia.”
The store will undergo a week-long refurbishment from Sunday, October 27, the last day of British Summer Time, adding a welcome desk.
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