Damage from riots could hit £1m

 

Stores which bore the brunt of rampaging mobs during the summer riots
face another two years before they resume trading at previous levels.

Those most severely damaged estimate bills for repairs and ruined stock could rack up to as much as £1 million.

And some say overall losses, including lost sales, are still impossible to quantify - five months after the looting.

Duncan Mundell, owner of Party Superstore which was set ablaze when rioters took to the streets of Clapham, south-west London, on August 8, estimated his personal setback would be between £100,000 and £250,000.

"It's been an absolute nightmare," he said.

"With the place burning down, all my staff out of work and the whole place was completely gutted - it's going to take up to two years to rebuild it.

"Right at the start, it was particularly hard because I had 30 staff working there whose wages I had to continue to pay.

"I also set up a charity (Street Kids Rescue) three years ago to look after disabled, orphaned and abandoned children in south east Asia and quite a large part of that funding come from the business.

"When I saw my store burning, I thought, how am I going to get the money to keep 4,000 children fed?"

The fire caused more than £800,000 worth of damage to the fancy dress and party shop.

Mr Mundell, 61, also lost the larger part of a collection of fancy dress costumes worth £600,000 which he had built up over 25 years.

He estimates total costs will be somewhere in the region of £1 million. Owing to being underinsured, he expects to incur significant personal losses.

"Since the fire I have not had a day off, I think I have worked 16 hours a day," the married father of two added.

"That's the only way you can fight your way back up and recover. There's no point being angry. In life things happen and you have to just accept them.

"It took 20 years to build the business up and it was all destroyed pretty much overnight. Although I have managed to keep some of our customers, we know that we have lost a lot of them."

Trevor Reeves, 56, whose burning furniture store came to symbolise the violence of the London disorder, said his losses at the 144-year-old family business were currently between £50,000 and £100,000.

Furniture is now being stocked at the next-door premises, where House of Reeves originally housed the side of his business which sold beds.

"We are not fully back up and running. The store that was burnt down still doesn't exist," he said.

Restoring the building is expected to take up to two years or longer.

Mr Reeves, a married father-of-two who runs the company with his brother, Graham, said the family had been devastated by the "horrific" destruction but had "pulled together" in a bid to trade over Christmas and through January.

"I'm shattered, my father has come out of retirement and is working with us but we're still quite a way off," he said.

But the firm, which withstood two World Wars, has been buoyed up by new customers who travelled hundreds of miles to its Croydon site to buy goods after being moved by images of the beleaguered store in August.

It is understood it could take up to a year to rebuild the Carpetright store, in Tottenham, north London, which burnt down on the first night of rioting which swept English cities.

"It was demolished and completely gutted," a spokesman said. "It is nowhere near up and running again. It will take a long time to rebuild."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable