The Croxley community have come together to show their support for a long-standing village shop, which was struggling to entice customers.
Croxley Sports Shop has been a staple on Watford Road for more than 27 years and owner Cliff, 86, is a valued member of the community, having served on the Parish Council for 36 years and working as a former Watford FC scout.
Cliff told CroxleyNews: “I was going to close the shop down as no customers were coming through the door. I like being here, mingling with the people and doing what I can for the community and Parish. I am not going to start making money now, I just want to be able to pay my expenses and I am happy.”
Linda Anderson, owner of The Kitchen Croxley said: “I heard that Cliff had not had a customer for three weeks. This made me so sad. I knew that his business wasn’t doing great – online sales have made it so easy not to bother with small shops such as Cliff’s.
“With Cliff’s blessing (and a watery eye) I set up an Instagram account for him. I joked that there will be a queue out the door tomorrow, and that he will have twenty customers. Even if you don’t see anything you want to buy maybe just say hi and make some suggestions!
“Do you believe we can dig deep and find the support that Cliff needs? If his business can’t survive then Cliff will lose not only the shop but the neighbours, community and conversations that for many of us make up our lives!”
The Kitchen Croxley’s post quickly gained traction on social media, being shared more than 250 times and even being featured on Three Counties Radio. Before long, Cliff had over 1,500 Instagram followers.
Linda added: “More than anything else this demonstrates the love for Cliff in this community. So many people responded and have rallied around him.”
Councillor Dominic Sokalski added: ”Cliff’s sports shop is a unique and independently owned business. I pop in regularly to catch up with Cliff. At one of our catch-ups he said business had been slow and he may need to close down. This alarmed me – we need businesses like this. It is lovely to see his business now doing much better. Do visit if you can!”
Cliff, a Watford FC legend, has also received support from Luther Blissett and other former Hornets players who have ideas to support Cliff’s sports shop moving forwards.
You can visit Croxley Sports on 192 Watford Rd, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth WD3 3DB.