A SHOPKEEPER who was threatened with legal action when he called his corner shop “Singhsbury’s” has changed its name to “Morrisinghs”

Jel Singh Nagra was told he was facing possible court action by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s who said the shop’s name was too similar to its own branding.

Now the 42-year-old businessman has changed the name of his convenience store on Benton Road in West Allotment, North Tyneside, to “Morrisinghs” after encouragement from customers.

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The Northern Echo: BEFORE: The Singhsbury's store as it was back in 2012. Picture by North News

BEFORE: The Singhsbury's store as it was back in 2012. Picture: NORTH NEWS

Mr Nagra, who commutes to his shop from his home in Stockton-on-Tees every day, said: “When the first sign went down, the customers kept asking what happened.

“While I was away on my honeymoon in September 2012, I got a letter saying that Sainsbury’s was threatening to take me to court.

“In the letter they stated how much this would cost.

“My family saw the letter and took the sign down while I was away because they were so worried.

“My customers kept saying I should come up with a similar name, so I had to think of something”.

The tongue-in-cheek switch of name took place late last week and since then he claims to have had a lot of support from his regular customers on Tyneside.

Mr Nagra said: “A lot of the customers come in here for the banter more than the actual service.

“The sign makes us a talking point.

“They talk about it in the pubs and the clubs and the restaurants.

“We used to have a post office, but when the postmaster retired we knew business would decline.

“There is also a dead end at the bottom of the street, so we don’t get a lot of passing trade.

“But I do feel that the sign is bringing more business in”.

He added: “If I get asked to take this one down I will fight for it.”

The shop had already been called Singhsbury’s for two years when Jel took it over from his sister’s brother-in-law six years ago.

In 2012 Sainsbury’s contacted the family threatening legal action and asking them to remove the sign.

They felt they were left with no choice but to remove it.

The shop remained nameless until the new ‘Morrisinghs’ sign went up last week.

Within 24 hours of posting a picture of the new-look shop with Morrisinghs makeover on his Facebook page, the photo had been shared 10,000 times.

Mr Nagra said that the new branding left him £350 out of pocket, but that he thought it was ‘money well spent’.

The father-of-two added: “It is just a laugh and we hope it will put West Allotment on the map.

“When we posted the picture of the new name on our Facebook page, we had more than 10,000 views in less than 24 hours, which was just mad.

“I have seen people of all ages walking past giggling to themselves.

“People have driven past and pulled over so that they can take a photograph.

“It’s all a bit of fun and the customers love it.

“It is just a laugh, the aim is to get people talking and that’s worked.”

Sainsbury’s has been contacted for comment, but the supermarket giant is yet to respond.