Beloved Pickering, Ont. Dry cleaners say they may have to close, and blame local Loplaus

Six days a week, for nearly 20 years, Anthony Sunaren and his father Bobby have been running London Cleaners, a tailoring and dry-cleaning shop inside Loblaws supermarket at Highway 2 and Liverpool Road in Pickering, Ont.

Currently, the place feels like home, and their clients are extended family.

“We have a lot of customers when we first opened the stores, they had kids in prams, now their kids are in college and they keep coming,” Sunarin told Global News one afternoon.

“We love being here, it’s part of our home.”

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But they are now in danger of losing their home. Seunarine says Loblaws has closed one of its main entrances during the pandemic. It has remained closed ever since.

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The problem is that the entrance is the same doors Seunarine’s customers were going through, and with no more foot traffic, Seunarine says business is down 70 percent.

“We had to use savings and remittance service providers to make ends meet, because we are really committed to being here for the sake of our community,” Seunarine said.

He says his parents even had to sell their house to keep up with the rent. But despite their sacrifices, Loplaus, says Sonarin, refuses to reopen the entrance.

“I was told that they reserve the right to use this space as they see fit,” Sunarin told Global News.

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Seunarine says Loblaws offered to supply them with banners in January to let customers know they were still open.

“But it’s August, and we still haven’t received them yet,” Sunarin said.

In a statement to Global News, Loblaws said,

“We understand the tenant’s concern and have made a number of attempts over the past few months to find a solution, including adding in-store signage and promoting this business, as well as supporting unblocking the outside entrance to their store,” the statement read.

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So far, these efforts have not led to a solution. We are committed to continuing to work with them to find a solution.”

Sunarin says these efforts are not enough.

“If the entrance is not opened, we will lose our business,” said Sunarin. He says it’s an outcome that his family can’t even begin to think about.

“It’s very easy to re-open the door,” Sunarin said. “We are a small company and we are trying hard to get through the pandemic and I just hope so [Loblaws] will reconsider. “

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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