Singhsbury’s store becomes Morrisinghs after legal threat

Egged on by customers, owner finds new name for Tyneside convenience store

A shopkeeper has dealt with the threat of legal action from Sainsbury’s over his similarly named store by changing its name from Singhsbury’s to Morrisinghs.

Jel Singh Nagra, 42, has changed the name of his convenience store in West Allotment, North Tyneside, after Sainsbury’s said its original name, Singhsbury’s, was too similar to its own branding.

In 2012 Nagra received a letter from Sainsbury’s complaining about the design and font of the shop’s logo as well as the name, he said.

Nagra admitted he was egged on by his customers to riff on one of Sainsbury’s most bitter supermarket rivals when coming up with the new name: “People up here love banter. Some of the locals just come in the shop for the banter.”

He said the new name was “just a laugh” and he hoped it would “put West Allotment on the map”.

Nagra’s family took the original sign down when he was away on his honeymoon.

Replacing one potentially copyright infringing branding with another one could be a risk for Nagra. But a spokesperson for Morrison’s suggested it was flattered by Nagra’s name choice, saying: “Mr Nagra and his customers obviously have good taste so we wish him well.”

A picture of the new-look shop has been shared on Facebook more than 10,000 times since it was posted on Monday night. Nagra had the press at his shop all day on Tuesday and his friends called him when they spotted him on Sky News. Nagra said he “couldn’t believe the attention”.

There are a number of Singhbury’s stores throughout the UK from Edinburgh to the Black Country, and there are several in London.

The owner of Singhbury’s supermarket in Seven Sisters, north London, who did not want to be named, said he has never received a letter from Sainsbury’s regarding the name.

Singhsbury’s Superstore in Paddington, west London, is a few hundred yards from a Sainsbury’s store on the same road. Its owners also say they have never received any legal correspondence from the supermarket.

Sainsbury’s told the Guardian: “We were grateful to Mr Nagra for removing the sign.”


Daniel Lavelle

The GuardianTramp

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