In April last year we sadly lost a convenience retail legend and all-round top bloke Raj Aggarwal who was taken all too soon by Covid 19. He was just 51. The following day Raj’s father also sadly died.

Raj worked tirelessly across the community to support the work of many different charitable organisations. In his last few weeks, Raj donated biscuits, tea, and coffee to the local hospital, gave food to a local homeless shelter, and gave away free lunches to paramedics.

My fondest memories of Raj were working together on various convenience retailer projects, laughing, and joking at industry bashes and fondly listening to his many stories of retailing shenanigans. He was always so generous with his time and with his feedback. He was rightly very proud and deserving of his status as a leading convenience retailer in the UK and he always went out of his way to fight for and defend the industry we love. He didn’t hold back.

In their memory, the family decided to support two new inspirational NHS legacy projects. The first is the creation of Leicester’s first dedicated children’s hospital and the second is to help create a sanctuary garden for the staff and patients at Sheffield Hospitals. A goal of raising £100,000 has been set by the family.

Last month saw the launch of the Do As Raj Would Do campaign an initiative created by AF Blakemore which urged retailers to donate goods, supplies or products to charities, organisations, or individuals most in need in their local communities. So far over £35,000 has been raised.

The Association of Convenience Stores has also recently launched the Raj Aggarwal Trophy, which celebrates outstanding community retailers.
A very fitting award in his honour.

Anyone who wants to donate to Leicester Hospitals Charity and Sheffield Hospitals can visit Raj’s fundraising page here

We miss you Raj but your memory and legacy lives on. Do as Raj would do.